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By ELMER DAVIS 

OJ The New York Times Editorial Staff 



ILLUSTRATED 



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PRESS OF J. J. LTTTUE ft IVES CO. 
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CONTENTS 

PAGE 

Introduction vn 

PART I 

CHAPTER 

I Beginnings of n^ r^Wj, 1851-1859 ... 3 

II Civil War and Reconstruction, 1 860-1 869 . . 48 

III The Times and the Tweed Ring 81 

IV National Politics, 1872-1884 n? 

V rA<f TzWj in Transition, 1 884-1 896 . ... 155 

PART II 

I Restoration of The Times, 1 896-1900 ... 175 
II Conservatism, Independence, Democracy: 

1900-1914 243 

III Modern News-gathering, 1900-1914 .... 273 

IV Some Aspects of Business Policy 310 

V The Times in the War, 1914-1918 33 1 

VI The Times Today Z70 

Twenty-five Years' Record of Advertising 

Growth 40^ 

Twenty-five Years' Record of Circulation 

Growth 403 

For the German People, Peace with Freedom 405 

Roster of The New York Times Company . . 411 

Index 4^9 

iii 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 



PAGE 



Adolph S. Ochs Frontispiece 

Henry J. Raymond 26 

George Jones 4^ 

Louis J. Jennings, Editor-in-chief 1 869-1 876 ... 58 

John C. Reid, Managing Editor 1872-1889 ... 58 

John Foord, Editor-in-chief 1 876-1 883 58 

Former Homes of The Times 74 

Charles R. Miller, Editor-in-chief 90 

The 4th Times Building, Park Row, 1888-1905 . . 106 

Edward Gary, Associate Editor, 1871-1917 ... 122 

John Norris, Business Manager, 1900-191 1 ... 122 

Times Square, the Genter for News 138 

Adolph S. Ochs, August 18, 1896 187 

The Times Editorial Gouncil 203 

Garr V. Van Anda, Managing Editor 218 

Louis Wiley, Business Manager 218 

The Present Home, The Times Annex 234 

Honor Roll 258 

Assistants to the Publisher 282 

Laying the Gornerstone — Times Building, January 

18, 1904 298 

Times Square World Series Baseball Growd ... 298 

Rollo Ogden, Associate Editor 3^4 

John H. Finley, Associate Editor 3^4 

Times Building Illuminated for Victory .... 330 

Main Entrance — Times Building 34^ 

Times Business Office 347 

Views of the Composing Room 3^2 

A View of the News Room 3^3 

The First Press of n^ nWj, 1 85 1 378 

V 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 

PAGE 

A View of The Twies Pressroom 379 

A View of The Times Rotogravure Pressroom . . 394 
Automobile Trucks 395 



FACSIMILE PAGES OF "THE NEW YORK TIMES' 

First Issue September 18, 1851 

First Ocean Cable is Laid . August 17, 1858 . 
The Outbreak of the Civil 

War April 13, 1861 

Battle of Gettysburg . . . July 6, 1863 . . 
The Fall of Richmond . . April 4, 1865 . . 
Lee's Surrender .... April 10, 1865 
The Assassination of Presi- 
dent Lincoln April 15, 1865 

The Tweed Disclosures . . July 22, 1 871 . . 

The Hayes-Tilden Election . November 9, 1876] 

Star Route Disclosure . . May 1 1, 188 1 
The First Issue of the New 

Management . . . . . August 19, 1896 . 
Peary's Discovery of the Pole September 9, 1909 
The Titanic Disaster . . . April 16, 1912 
Beginningofthe World War . August 2, 1914 
The Sinking of the Lusitania . May 8, 1915 . . 
President Calls for War Dec- 
laration April 3, 1917 . . 

The Armistice Signed . . . November 11, 1918 

Harding Nominated . . . June 13, 1920 



18 
34 

SO 
66 
82 



114 

130 
146 
162 

178 
242 
274 
306 
338 

354 
370 
386 



vx 



INTRODUCTION 

THIS historical sketch of The New York Times 
was prepared in commemoration of the quar- 
ter-centenary of the present management, which 
occurs on August i8, 1921, and of the seventieth 
anniversary of the first issue of the paper, which 
falls on September 18, 192 1. It was written by a 
member of the editorial staff, Mr. Elmer Davis, 
with such advice and assistance as other members 
of the staff could give. Mr. Davis joined the staff of 
The Times in 191 4, after his graduation from the 
University of Oxford, England, which he attended 
as a Rhodes Scholar from his native State, Indiana. 
He modestly disclaims any idea that his work is to be 
regarded as an ideal or definitive treatment of the 
subject. Most of the material of Part I has been 
drawn from the articles in The Times Jubilee Supple- 
ment of 1901, and from Augustus Maverick's "Henry 
J. Raymond and the New York Press." The second 
part has been compiled with the cooperation and as- 
sistance of many members of the staff. Without 
aspiring to a wholly detached point of view, which 
could hardly be achieved by men who have faith 
in and affection for the institution they serve, Mr. 
Davis believes that he has at any rate tried to tell 
the story impartially. However, it is but just 
to say that the unflagging industry and the Hter- 
ary skill with which Mr. Davis has executed his 

vii 



INTRODUCTION 

task command the sincere admiration of his associates. 

The New York Times^s pecuHar position in the 
esteem of the public may make its history of inter- 
est not only to working newspapermen and students 
of journalism but to many readers who are unfamiliar 
with the technique of newspaper-making and un- 
acquainted with the personnel of The Times. Some 
episodes, particularly controversial episodes, have 
been treated with a certain reserve, as it was felt that 
it would not be wholly fair to present only one side 
of the case. But in no instance has accuracy been 
sacrificed to brevity, and it is the belief that nothing 
relevant to the history of The Times, or to its inter- 
pretation, has been omitted. 

With respect to my own sentiments on the occa- 
sion of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the present 
management of The Times, I can do no better than 
to repeat here the following article, which appears 
in The Times of August i8, 1921: 

Today — twenty-five years ago — August 18, 
1896 — The New York Times passed to my manage- 
ment and has ever since been under my unrestricted 
control. So it may be fitting that I render an ac- 
count of my stewardship to those who have made 
The New York Times of today possible — its readers 
— and take occasion to make clearer the forces that 
are truly directing and influencing its conduct. I 
am reluctant to strike the personal note that may 
manifest itself in this recital of the history of The 
New York Times, as it has been my endeavor to have 
the public as well as those who are associated in 
creating the paper regard it as an institution and, 

viii 



INTRODUCTION 

so far as possible and feasible, make impersonal the 
treatment of news and its interpretation. The 
human element, however, enters into all man's 
activities and it fortunately exists in the conduct 
of newspapers. A newspaper if possible freed from 
the frailties of humanity, with no sense of responsi- 
bility, no sympathies, no prejudices, no milk of 
human kindness, would be a nuisance and a plague, 
an excrescence on the bodies social and politic, and 
would be despised and shunned and consequently 
without influence and altogether an unnecessary 
evil. We have made an effort to make The New 
York Times a creditable human institution. To 
what extent we have succeeded we are confident we 
can leave to others to say; whether this effort has 
contributed to the general welfare and to gaining 
respect for the honesty, integrity and patriotism of 
American newspapers. 

I am pleased to be able to say that The New York 
Times is firmly estabhshed as an independent con- 
servative newspaper, free from any influence that 
can direct or divert its management from a righteous 
and public-spirited course. It is within itself finan- 
cially independent and in the enjoyment of a large 
and increasingly profitable legitimate income from 
circulation receipts and advertising revenue — in 
the aggregate probably the largest income of any 
newspaper in the world. The net result of its opera- 
tions is beyond the earlier dreams of those who are 
its chief beneficiaries, and fortunately they know no 
interest they can serve that can give them greater 
joy, satisfaction and comfort. I wish that thought 
could fi.nd lodgment in the minds of those who may 

ix 



INTRODUCTION 

be inclined to believe that some ulterior object may 
at times influence the policy of The New York TimeSy 
so that they may understand that, being free from 
pecuniary necessity or personal greed, no sane man 
would voluntarily forfeit the confidence and good- 
will of intelligent people by degrading himself 
through loss of his self-respect or the surrender of 
his independence. Persons may disagree with The 
New York Times — with its treatment of news and 
its views thereon — but there is no ground on which 
they can attribute to it base or improper motives 
for such differences of opinion. The New York Times 
is an open book and may be taken at its face value; 
it is no worse than it may seem to appear; its faults 
are those of human fallibility and we cherish the 
knowledge that at least in purpose it is better than 
we have been able to make it appear. 

On this occasion of the twenty-fifth anniversary of 
the present management I wish first to make our 
grateful acknowledgments to the several hundred 
thousand readers of The New York Times who have 
expressed by their patronage their endorsement of 
the kind of newspaper we are endeavoring to pro- 
duce. We are fully sensible of the fact that our 
editorial position on public questions has not always 
had the unanimous approval of our readers; many 
honestly differ from us; but whether we are right 
or wrong our views are not directly or indirectly 
presented with any thought that they may please or 
displease a reader. We do not now nor have we ever 
sought readers because of our favorable or unfavor- 
able attitude toward men or measures. So we flatter 
ourselves that the third of a miUion persons who 



INTRODUCTION 

daily purchase The New York Times and the more 
than half a milHon who purchase it on Sunday do so 
because they approve of our kind of newspaper, and 
that is the inspiration to which we owe such success 
as we enjoy. 

To the advertisers who have paid many millions 
of dollars for space in the advertising columns of 
The New York Times we are grateful for generous 
patronage and the many evidences of sympathy 
and encouragement they have manifested, and 
especially do we appreciate this proof of their under- 
standing of the potency and value of newspaper 
circulation among those who find such a newspaper 
as The New York Times to their taste. The New 
York Times has been forced to steadily increase 
its advertising rates, and the difficulty was mini- 
mized because its discriminating advertisers have 
realized that the increases were not out of pro- 
portion to the increased service tendered. We have 
great pride in the high business standing of our 
advertisers. It is of the rarest occurrence that a 
high-class advertiser does not place The New York 
Times first on his list. In this connection it can be 
stated positively that no advertiser influences, or 
ever has influenced, the conduct of The New York 
Times or has been encouraged to seek any favors that 
are not accorded any good citizen. If in the past 
twenty-five years there has ever appeared an im- 
proper line written for the purpose of holding or 
securing advertising patronage, it was without the 
knowledge or consent of the management. 

Words fail me when I try to express the obliga- 
tion and gratitude I feel to the capable, earnest, 

xi 



INTRODUCTION 

loyal men who have been associated with me in 
making The New York Times. I am proud of the 
fact that we have been able to obtain and retain 
such men in the service of the paper. No newspaper 
organization in the world has or has ever had, as a 
group, so many experienced nev/spaper men with 
love and pride of profession giving enthusiastically 
and indefatigably their best thoughts and service to 
informing honestly the public of the happenings and 
occurrences of the day; who in their relations with 
each other are gentlemanly and courteous and all 
united in working harmoniously and with a common 
purpose for giving unselfishly their very best ability 
to making a newspaper that is enterprising, reliable 
and trustworthy, and at the same time decent and 
dignified; men who find joy in their work and have 
profound sympathy with the general policies of The 
New York Times, giving such zeal and devotion to 
their respective duties as to create a character and 
form a power that make The New York Times the 
great newspaper it is; men of almost every shade of 
political and religious opinion and belief, of every 
variety of sympathy and conviction, all working 
together in the belief that they are serving a news- 
paper that tolerates no tampering with the news, no 
coloring, no deception, and in the making of which 
no writer is required, requested or even invited 
to express any views that he does not honestly 
entertain. With such men and under such condi- 
tions the building up of The New York Times was a 
pleasant task. No publisher ever had more faithful 
and efficient assistants. I hesitate to make invidious 
distinctions among the army of men who have aided 

xii 



INTRODUCTION 

me in creating a newspaper, not so complete as I 
hope it may yet become as we are better enabled to 
take advantage of its opportunities, but which I 
believe, nevertheless, now to be the most complete 
in the world. 

I wish, however, to select the notably conspicuous 
figures whose great contributions to the success of 
The New York Times I desire publicly to acknowledge, 
and to express my sense of obligation for their able 
support of my efforts to make The New York Times 
the best newspaper in the world: 

To Charles R. Miller, who from the beginning 
has been my editor-in-chief, whose whole-hearted 
sympathy with my opinions and my aims and pur- 
poses with The Times has been an inspiration. His 
scholarly attainments, his facility and lucidity of 
expression, broad vision, extraordinary knowledge 
of public affairs, having a statesman's conception of 
their proper conduct, and his lofty patriotism have 
made the editorial page of The New York Times 
consulted and respected throughout the world, and 
distinguished it as the foremost exponent of en- 
lightened American public opinion. 

To Carr V. Van Anda, who has been managing 
editor of The New York Times for the past eighteen 
years; to whose exceptional newspaper experience, 
genius for news-gathering and marvelous apprecia- 
tion of news value and fidelity to fairness and 
thoroughness, knowing no friend or foe when pre- 
siding over the news pages of The Times, the greatest 
measure of credit is due for the high reputation it 
has attained for the fullness, trustworthiness and 
impartiality of its news service. His vigilance and 

xiii 



INTRODUCTION 

faithfulness to the very highest and best traditions 
of newspaper-making make him a tower of strength 
to the organization. 

To Louis Wiley, the business manager, who has 
been associated with me almost from the beginning, 
particularly devoting himself to the circulation and 
advertising departments that have furnished the 
bone and sinew to the business, and has, while main- 
taining the very highest standards of business ethics, 
extended the greatest courtesy and painstaking atten- 
tion to all having occasion to have transactions with 
The Times. Of unusual ability, alert, indefatigable 
and agreeable, and in full accord and sympathy 
with the policies of The Times, he has been one of 
my most useful and valuable assistants. No one 
has been more earnest and faithful to the duties that 
come under his management — and these have 
been multifarious — and he has made himself, as 
he is, an integral part of the institution. 

Because of the loyal support and skillful aid of 
these three men, each preeminent in his particular 
and important field of responsibility, the publisher 
of The New York Times is free from some of the many 
problems and anxieties that are associated with 
newspaper-making for the reason that the reputa- 
tion of the newspaper is in safe and prudent hands. 
There are others who have been of noteworthy aid 
in creating this great newspaper and their exceptional 
ability unstintingly given me was helpful and of 
enduring value, and their contribution is indelibly 
impressed in the results that have been achieved: 
Edward Cary (deceased), in the editorial depart- 
ment; John Norris (deceased), in the business and 

xiv 



INTRODUCTION 

mechanical departments; William C. Reick, Henry 
Loewenthal, and Arthur R. Greaves (deceased), in 
the news department. The work of these men was 
constructive and an inspiration, and conspicuously 
helpful in the building of the newspaper. I dare not 
go further in the personnel of the splendid men and 
women who have so ably, unselfishly and enthusi- 
astically aided in the work of bringing The New 
York Times to its high eminence in public favor, for 
fear of not properly and adequately estimating their 
individual contribution to that end. Suffice it that 
to their ability, devotion to duty, kind sympathy 
and confidence, credit is due in great measure for 
what has been accomplished. With such men and 
women to assist, almost any deserving enterprise 
should be a pronounced success. They are all en- 
titled to share in whatever praise may be accorded 
The Times as a newspaper. 

Now as to the ownership of The New York Times. 
It is owned by a corporation with ^1,000,000 com- 
mon and ^4,000,000 preferred 8 per cent stock (the 
latter recently issued as a stock dividend). I and 
the immediate members of my family own and 
control 64 per cent of the shares of the company free 
and unencumbered, and not one share of our holdings 
is pledged or hypothecated; 25 per cent more of the 
shares is held by those who are or have been em- 
ployed by The Times, and the remaining 1 1 per cent 
of the shares is distributed among twenty-eight in- 
dividuals or estates (all Americans) who acquired 
the stock by exchanging for it shares of the old 
company, the largest individual holder of the latter 
group holding only one-quarter of i per cent of the 

XV 



INTRODUCTION 

capital stock. The New York Times Company has 
real estate and paper-mill properties costing more 
than ^5,000,000, and on these properties there are 
unmatured bonds and mortgages amounting to 
^1,500,000, constituting the sum total of the in- 
debtedness of the company except its current monthly 
accounts payable. The cash reserves of the com- 
pany are more than sufficient to pay its total funded 
indebtedness and leave free a large and sufficient 
working capital. So it can be said that The New 
York Times Company is virtually free of indebted- 
ness. It has a gross annual income exceeding 
^15,000,000, and only about 3 per cent of its gross 
annual income is distributed to its shareholders; the 
remainder of its income is employed in the develop- 
ment and expansion of its business. This result 
has been achieved in a business that twenty-five 
years ago was running at a loss of ^1000 a day, by 
the investment of only $200,000 of new capital. 
It is the result of the application of practical common 
sense by experienced newspaper-makers who under- 
took the management of a newspaper of long and 
good reputation — temporarily crippled by mis- 
management and untoward universal financial condi- 
tions — in the firm belief that a clientele existed in 
the greatest city in the world for a newspaper edited 
for intelligent, thoughtful people. At the time 
The Times passed to its present management — 
1896 — the rapidly increasing circulation and ad- 
vertising of the sensational newspaper indulging in 
coarse, vulgar and inane features, muck-raking and 
crusades of every character were creating a widely 
extending impression that otherwise a newspaper 

xvi 



INTRODUCTION 

would be dull, stupid and unprofitable. It was this 
situation that caused The New York Times to hoist 
its legend of ''All the News That's Fit to Print." 
The wiseacres of journalism prophesied an early- 
failure; the motto was made sport of and ridiculed. 
It was this prevailing impression that proved a 
valuable factor in the growth of The Times, for in 
the field it was trying to cover it met no serious 
competition and thus was for a considerable time 
left to its full benefit. The neglected non-sensa- 
tional departments of news of the other daily morn- 
ing newspapers were quietly and unostentatiously 
improved in The New York Times and made as far 
as possible complete — such as financial news, 
market reports, real estate transactions, court 
records, commercial and educational news; the news 
of books, the routine affairs of the National, State 
and City Governments; and there were also attrac- 
tively presented decent and trustworthy pictures of 
men, women and events. Altogether the task under- 
taken in this direction was to tell promptly and 
accurately the happenings and occurrences that were 
not sensational but of real importance in the affairs 
of the people. This supplemented the general news 
of the day intelligently and quietly presented and 
with editorial interpretation that was fair and in- 
formative. The columns of The Times were open 
without money and without price for the presenta- 
tion of views honestly differing with the opinions of 
The Times, and this was practiced to an extent never 
theretofore done by a newspaper. All of this soon 
gave The Times the reputation that its readers could 
expect full and trustworthy information regarding 

xvii 



INTRODUCTION 

any and all angles of the news. In the very first 
political campaign during the regime of the present 
management such was the fairness and impartiality 
of The Times news reports that at its close both the 
Democratic and Republican managers of the Na- 
tional Committees voluntarily sent letters of thanks 
and appreciation to The Times management. 

We began on August i8, 1896, with a daily issue of 
18,900, over half of which were returned unsold, and, 
as said before, with a deficit of ^1000 a day. The 
gross income for the first year was ^561,423, and at 
the end of the year the deficit was ^68,121.67. The 
second year the deficit was $78,559; but in the third 
year the balance was $50,252 on the right side and 
has been so increasingly every year since. The 
gross income for the period of twenty-five years has 
been, in round figures, $100,000,000, every dollar of 
which, less an average of $125,000 a year withdrawn 
from the business and distributed as dividends, has 
been expended in making The Times what it is today. 
Not one dollar of the $100,000,000 was a gift or a 
gratuity, but every cent a legitimate newspaper 
income. It is a fortunate outcome for those who 
own the shares of The New York Times Company 
and who have been hopeful and patient for so many 
years, but it has also been a happy and encouraging 
result for the country and particularly for American 
journalism. 

There was a time when it was no secret in financial 
circles that The New York Times Company had 
limited resources and that it was an active borrower, 
and this gave rise to speculation as to where the 
necessary funds were obtained. As a result wild 

xviii 



INTRODUCTION 

and stupid conjectures were given currency when- 
ever it suited the purpose of malevolent persons to 
attempt to discredit the newspaper. Among the 
stories were these: That there was English or 
foreign capital in The Times; that traction interests 
were owners or controllers; that certain political 
factions were "backing" it; that department stores 
were financially interested; that well-known Wall 
Street concerns directed its policy, and variations 
ad libitum. The truth is that from the day I as- 
sumed the management of The New York Times — 
twenty-five years ago today — I have been in abso- 
lute and free control, and no man or interest was 
ever in a position to direct or demand of me to do 
anything with The Times, and no one ever attempted 
to do so. So far as the management of The New 
York Times is concerned we can say, without fear 
of any contradiction from the thousands who in the 
past twenty-five years have been employed on The 
Times, that never a line appeared in its columns to 
pay a real or imaginary debt or to gain expected 
favors. The New York Times owes no man or 
interest any support or goodwill that it does not owe 
to every good man and worthy cause. 

The operation of so large an enterprise, including 
real estate transactions and large building construc- 
tion, of course required capital, and the general 
impression that the newspaper business is extra- 
hazardous, and the personal equation the all-im- 
portant factor, made financing no easy task; so it 
cannot be surprising to know that we had many 
and continued financial problems made more than 
ordinarily difficult as we scrupulously avoided the 

xix 



INTRODUCTION 

easiest way, knowing full well that in that direction 
the enterprise would be imperiled and robbed of the 
attraction that made the work a joy, an inspiration 
and opportunity for public service. The financing, 
however, was always done on a strictly business 
basis. Not a dollar was borrowed at less than the 
prevailing rate of interest, and principal and interest 
were paid to the last cent. In no single instance 
did we receive any financial accommodation for a 
selfish motive, and never in a single instance was it 
predicated on any personal benefits, direct or in- 
direct, asked or expected. 

I was reluctant to go at such length into the busi- 
ness and financial history of The New York Times, 
but think this occasion is the time once and for all 
to make the indisputable facts clear. 

I do not wish to overemphasize the material 
progress of The New York Times, as like results may 
be obtained in any well-conducted business in the 
world's greatest metropolis, for on this twenty-fifth 
anniversary of the present management we prefer 
to be appraised by the product we are offering the 
public for their information and guidance, and to 
have it judged by the highest standards of honesty, 
fairness and cleanhness, and pubHc service appHed 
in making newspapers. We present the nine thou- 
sand and thirty-one issues of The New York Times 
that have appeared during the past twenty-five 
years for review and criticism. They are not with- 
out faults and shortcomings and not altogether what 
we should have wished them to be, but they are our 
best under the circumstances of their construction. 
We have little to regret for what has appeared 

XX 



INTRODUCTION 

therein, but in no issue was principle ever surrendered 
or subordinated to expediency. We have not yet 
reached our ideal of a newspaper in contents or 
make-up and may never be able to achieve it, but 
we shall continue to improve, and to that end we 
hope to merit a continuance of our pleasant and 
profitable relations with intelligent men and women. 
With respect to the principles and policies of The 
New York Times that represent our platform and 
our guide I can do no better than to repeat what was 
announced would be the policies of The Times when 
assuming its control and management, and shall 
leave to others to say how well we have lived up to 
that declaration. The following was the salutatory 
appearing in the issue of The New York Times of 
Wednesday, August 19, 1896: 

ANNOUNCEMENT 

To undertake the management of The New York Times, with 
its great history for right doing, and to attempt to keep bright 
the lustre which Henry J. Raymond and George Jones have 
given it, is an extraordinary task. But if a sincere desire to 
conduct a high-standard newspaper, clean, dignified and trust- 
worthy, requires for success honesty, watchfulness, earnestness, 
industry, and practical knowledge applied with common sense, 
I entertain the hope that I can succeed and maintain the high 
estimate that thoughtful, pure-minded people have ever had of 
The New York Times. 

It will be my earnest aim that The New York Times give the 
news, all the news, in concise and attractive form, in language 
that is permissible in good society, and give it as early, if not 
earlier than it can be learned through any other reliable medium; 
to give the news impartially, without fear or favor, regardless 
of party, sect, or interests involved; to make of the columns of 
The New York Times a forum for the consideration of all ques- 

xxi 



INTRODUCTION 

tlons of public importance, and to that end to invite intelligent 
discussion from all shades of opinion. 

There will be no radical changes in the personnel of the present 
efficient staff. Mr. Charles R. Miller, who has so ably for many 
years presided over the editorial page, will continue to be the 
editor; nor will there be a departure from the general tone and 
character and policies pursued with relation to public questions 
that have distinguished The New York Times as a non-partisan 
newspaper — unless it be, if possible, to intensify its devotion 
to the cause of sound money and tariff reform, opposition to 
wastefulness and peculation in administering public affairs, and 
in its advocacy of the lowest tax consistent with good govern- 
ment, and no more government than is absolutely necessary to 
protect society, maintain individual and vested rights, and 
assure the free exercise of a sound conscience. 

Adolph S. Ochs. 
New York City, August iS, i8g6. 

The foregoing was our invitation for public favor 
twenty-five years ago, and I reaffirm it today in the 
full conviction based on my experience that these are 
the proper principles that should be maintained in 
the conduct of a representative American daily news- 
paper. 

Adolph S. Ochs. 

New York City, August i8, igsi. 



XXll 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

PART I 



CHAPTER I 
Beginnings of The Times, 1851-1859 

TN a sense The New York Times is the result of an 
^ accident, or of a sequence of accidents. Sooner 
or later Henry J. Raymond and George Jones would 
have become partners in the production of a news- 
paper; and wherever or whatever that newspaper 
might have been, its character would have been 
fixed by the common ideals which these men held, 
as its prosperity would have been insured by their 
unusually fortunate combination of talents. But 
it was only a chance that this Raymond-Jones 
newspaper, whose early years established the stand- 
ard and the character which The Times strives to 
maintain today, was The New York Times and not 
The Albany Evening Journal; and it took more 
accidents to bring Raymond and Jones together 
in 1851. 

The acquaintance and friendship of the two men 
who directed The Times for the first four decades 
of its history began in the early forties, in the office 
of The New York Tribune. Jones, a native of Ver- 
mont, had come to New York and gone into business, 
and had been invited by Horace Greeley to become 
his partner in the establishment of The Tribune in 
1 841. Whether from a failure to realize the wider 
field for newspaper enterprise which was opening in 
New York, or from a well-grounded distrust of 

3 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

Greeley's business judgment, Jones refused; but he 
did take a place in the Tribune business office, and 
there not only acquired a thorough familiarity with 
what may be called the alimentary system of a 
newspaper, but formed a friendship with Raymond, 
who was Greeley's principal editorial assistant. 
Presently Raymond went over to The Courier and 
Enquirer^ then edited by General James Watson 
Webb, and Jones later moved to Albany, where he 
engaged in the business of redeeming bank notes. 
In those days, when almost anybody could start a 
bank and issue paper money which might or might 
not have a solid reserve behind it, this was a some- 
what hazardous occupation, but Jones made it 
profitable. His business ability commended itself 
to Thurlow Weed, who had become acquainted 
with Raymond both as a newspaperman and as a 
rising young Whig poHtician. In 1848 Weed wanted 
to get out of The Albany Evening Journal, and offered 
to sell it to the two friends. Raymond and Jones 
were willing, but one of Weed's partners would not 
let go, so the enterprise came to nothing. But it 
had shown Raymond and Jones that they were not 
alone in thinking that they could get out a pretty 
good newspaper. For the moment Raymond's chief 
attention was diverted to politics; he was elected to 
the Assembly in 1849 and became its Speaker two 
years later. But the idea of a Raymond-Jones 
newspaper never died thereafter. 

In 1850 General Webb went to Europe and left 
Raymond in temporary charge of The Courier and 
Enquirer, Raymond not only failed to use his 
political influence to promote Webb's brief Senatorial 

4 



BEGINNINGS OF THE TIMES, 1851-1859 

boom, but incurred his chiefs disfavor by speaking 
out some plain truths on the slavery question in 
connection with the compromise proposals of that 
year. Raymond was not then, and never was till 
well along in the Civil War, an abolitionist; but he 
did not think that the more urgent question of the 
slave power in politics could be cured by ignoring 
it or by tame surrender. His independence got 
him into Webb's bad graces, and when Raymond 
went to Albany for the legislative session that winter 
he was eager to get away from Webb and start out 
for himself. 

Jones was somewhat more reluctant to give up a 
business which he had made profitable, but it hap- 
pened that a bill was then before the legislature 
which proposed to regulate the rate of bank-note 
redemption so severely that it would make the 
business entirely too hazardous for men of integrity. 
One day early in 1851, Jones and Raymond were 
walking across the Hudson on the ice when Jones 
observed that he had heard that The Tribune had 
made a profit of ^60,000 — in those days an enormous 
sum — in the past year. This renewed Raymond's 
enthusiasm, and before they reached the other shore 
he had obtained Jones's promise to join him, if the re- 
demption bill passed, in the establishment of a new 
daily in New York. The bill did pass. Jones closed 
up his business, and he and his business associate, 
E. B. Wesley, prepared to put their money, with 
Raymond's experience, into the new venture. 

But if this series of accidents led directly to the 
establishment of The Times, it is nevertheless true 
that essentially the paper was brought into being to 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

fill a keenly felt want in the New York journalism of 
the day. The conditions which made possible the 
prosperity of The Times in the fifties were in general 
the conditions which opened the way for the spec- 
tacularly successful reconstruction of The Times in 
the nineties. In each case New York newspapers, 
numerous and varied as they were, had none the 
less left vacant a large and profitable part of the 
newspaper field; and in each case the demand for a 
certain kind of paper — a paper characterized under 
Raymond as under Ochs by the somewhat unpre- 
tentious but still popular quahties of moderation and 
decency — created the supply. In the fifties as in 
the nineties there were many newspaper readers in 
New York who wanted a paper which first of all 
gave the news, but which was not distorted by 
eccentricities of a personal editorial attitude or 
tainted by excessive attention to folly, immorality 
and crime. The character which Raymond gave 
to The Times — excellence in news service, avoid- 
ance of fantastic extremes in editorial opinion, and a 
general sobriety in manner — is the character which 
The Times has retained ever since, and which those 
now engaged in producing the paper hope it still 
retains. 

There was a field for a sane and sensible newspaper 
in New York in 1851. The city had not yet re- 
covered from its surprise at finding itself a great 
metropolis, with more than half a million people, 
already far beyond its old rivals of the Atlantic sea- 
board and obviously destined to still greater growth 
in the future. It was spreading rapidly, sprawlingly, 
with little attention to the manner of its extension; 

6 



BEGINNINGS OF THE TIMES, 1851-1859 

its government was execrable, its civic beauties 
few and well concealed, its spirit still affected by the 
old small-town tradition. But it was growing; it 
was attracting new men by the thousands, ambitious 
young men like Raymond, from up-state; like Jones 
and others, many others, from New England. Those 
men were beginning the work of making New York, 
to which their most active and able successors of 
more recent times have done little more than add a 
few embellishments. 

Both the old spirit and the new were reflected in 
the newspapers of New York. There still survived 
some excellent examples of the type of newspaper 
which had prevailed in the earlier decades of the 
century — the so-called blanket sheets, literally big 
enough to be slept under, especially by those who 
had tried to read them. They were massive, expen- 
sive, and dull; dignified if not respectable; content 
with a small circulation among gentlemen who 
had plenty of time, if not much inclination, 
for reading, and were willing enough to get around 
to this morning's news about the middle of next 
week. The new era began with the establishment 
of The Sun in 1833 — a paper which for the first 
time in America discovered the rudimentary literacy 
of the lower classes. The Sun of 1833, or even of 
185 1, was nothing like The Sun as made famous by 
Dana long afterward; it was filled for the most part 
with trivialities, and according to Augustus Maver- 
ick, Raymond's biographer, was read in 1851 chiefly 
by ** domestics in quest of employment, and cart- 
men dozing at street corners in waiting for a job." 
But it had opened up a new field, and this field was 

7J 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

entered two years later by a much more interesting 
and much better newspaper, James Gordon Ben- 
nett's Herald. 

Bennett was the inventor of almost everything, 
good and bad, in modern journalism. He was the 
first editor who gave his chief attention to the collec- 
tion of news, and before long his competition had 
compelled all newspapers which made any preten- 
sion to influence to undertake unheard-of expendi- 
tures and to compete with him in the utilization 
of the railroad, the steamship, the telegraph and 
other new inventions just coming into use. In his 
salutatory to the public he disclaimed, among other 
things, "all principle, as it is called.'* His enemies 
and professional rivals — in the early days of The 
Herald the two terms were synonymous — would 
have said that he had merely rejected all good princi- 
ples. Tammany Hall and slavery usually found The 
Herald on their side. Moreover, Bennett invented 
yellow journalism; he discovered and encouraged 
the popular taste for vicarious vice and crime, and 
before long respectable citizens who would have liked 
to read The Herald for the news felt constrained to 
exclude it from their homes for fear of its effect on 
the somewhat sensitive morals of the Victorian 
family. 

It must be admitted that this "obscene'' Herald 
which was regarded with such horror in the middle 
of the nineteenth century was not so very terrible, 
judged by the more elastic standards of our time. 
Every page of every issue bears the mark of Bennett's 
powerful and eccentric talent, and it undoubtedly 
did give more space to news of crime and human 

8 



BEGINNINGS OF THE TIMES, 1851-1859 

error than its rivals; but it respected certain reti- 
cences which had passed into history before many 
of the night city editors of 1921 were born. How- 
ever, moral standards were more exigent in those 
days, and Bennett's frank and premature cynicism 
probably contributed to the ill repute of his paper. 
In the forties good principles were exemplified by 
few, but professed by everybody but Bennett; and it 
was the shrinking of virtuous citizens from the 
loathsome newspaper whose editor dared to talk as 
most people acted that opened the way for Greeley's 
success with The Tribune. 

When Greeley established The Tribune in 1841 
Bennett had things pretty much his own way. Of 
the heavier and more conservative sheets The Courier 
and Enquirer was kept in the foreground by the 
aggressive and pugnacious personality of James 
Watson Webb, but none of these papers could vie 
with Bennett in popularity or financial success. 
The Sun had long since been beaten in its own field, 
and no one then foresaw its ultimate revenge in that 
recent and curious transaction wherein The Herald 
swallowed The Su7i, and emerged from the process 
so exactly like The Sun as to furnish perhaps the 
best exemplification in history of the proverb, 
"Man ist was man isst." But Greeley soon gave 
Bennett real competition. In the first place, The 
Sun and The Herald leaned toward the Democrats, 
and Greeley first came forward to offer a cheap 
newspaper to the Whigs. Moreover, The Tribune 
as a newspaper was about as good as The Herald, 
and it carefully avoided all The Herald's offenses 
against the taste of the time. Yet The Tribune itself 

9 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

soon incurred moral disapproval because of Greeley's 
advocacy of the principles of Fourieristic Socialism. 
The chief characteristic of The Tribune under 
Greeley was an aggressive and even ostentatious 
purity. "Immoral and degrading police reports," 
and any notices of the existence of the theater, 
whether in news or advertising, were at first scrupu- 
lously excluded. Greeley appealed to man as he 
likes to pretend to be, Bennett to man as he is 
occasionally compelled to admit he really is. Greeley 
promoted temperance with a zeal equaled only by that 
other eminent moralist of the time, P. T. Barnum, and 
professed an intention to make The Tribune, though 
a penny paper, *'a welcome visitor at the family 
fireside.'' Heads of families soon found it rather 
startling that a paper with such an ambition was 
becoming the vehicle of doctrines whose logical 
application would make the family obsolete. Gree- 
ley's Socialism was no doubt sincere — he seems to 
have been the type of man who was so sincere in 
everything he did as to make the impartial observer 
somewhat more tolerant of judicious hypocrisy — 
and certainly his observation of the panic of 1837, 
and of the struggles between Tammany and the 
local Whig machine for the control of the city govern- 
ment, might have justified him in concluding that 
no political and economic organization of society 
could be much worse than that which actually 
obtained. Fourierism was popular; Brook Farm, 
the Oneida Community, New Harmony, and hun- 
dreds of less known and less successful communistic 
experiments were being attempted in various parts 
of the country. Greeley's advocacy of the reorgani- 

10 



BEGINNINGS OF THE TIMES, 1851-1859 

zation of society on the basis of the "social phalanx" 
was not hampered by any consideration of the 
difficulty of fitting a metropolitan newspaper with a 
large circulation into a state of phalangites, but 
doubtless he was taking only one step at a time, and 
saw no reason for crossing this bridge before he 
came to it. In the meantime Albert Brisbane, 
father of the better known Arthur Brisbane, and 
an eminent apostle of what Mr. Wells would 
doubtless call the Neanderthal type of SociaHsm, 
was allowed the run of The Tribune, and enjoyed 
the esteem of its editors. 

Greeley, to be sure, was no more than what would 
now be called a parlor Bolshevik, but it was only 
natural that his professional and commercial rivals, 
in that acrimonious age, should suspect him of a 
willingness to acquiesce in the logical extension of 
his doctrines to other parts of the house. Despite 
his protests and denials, it suited the other news- 
papers of the city to regard him as the advocate of 
free love; and the controversy found fullest 
expression in the autumn of 1846, in an editorial 
warfare between Greeley and his old employe Ray- 
mond, then on The Courier and Enquirer. A dozen 
or so long articles were written on each side, and 
Raymond succeeded in proving, to the entire satis- 
faction of everybody who agreed with him, that the 
doctrines advocated by The Tribune not only would 
be destructive of property right, family affection, 
and political association, but were contrary to the 
teachings of revealed religion — an assertion which 
he evidently regarded as crushing, and which in 
1846 undoubtedly was. 

II 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

The Tribune prospered in spite of these handicaps; 
but there were a great many people who wanted the 
news as The Tribune printed it, without the sensa- 
tional matter to be found in The Herald, and equally 
without the questionable and subversive doctrines 
which might be seen lurking beneath the chest- 
thumping morality of The Tribune^ s editorial page. 
To its enthusiasm for Socialism, moreover. The 
Tribune added a vigorous propaganda for Irish 
freedom, and the growing power of the Irish element 
in Tammany Hall had already aroused a certain 
reluctance, readily intelligible today, to allow New 
York City to be used as an overseas base for this 
hardy perennial conflict. To this public Raymond 
and Jones decided to appeal — not only because it 
was there and waiting for a paper suited to its taste, 
but also because its taste happened to be the taste 
of Raymond and Jones. 

Raymond went to Europe for a vacation in the 
summer of 1851, after drawing up with Jones and 
Wesley the plans for the new paper. His own 
expression in a letter to his brother, dated from 
London in June, 1851, is modest enough — '*Two 
gentlemen in Albany propose to start a new paper in 
New York early in September, and I shall probably 
edit it.*' This was undoubtedly the way it seemed 
to Raymond at the time, but it was Raymond's 
personality that made the paper's character at the 
outset, and in the Jubilee Supplement of The Times, 
issued in 1901, it was set down as the measured 
judgment of the editors of the paper that " The 
Times has always been at its best when its conduct 
approached most nearly to his ideal of a daily news- 



BEGINNINGS OF THE TIMES, 1851-1859 

paper." After Raymond's death circumstances com- 
pelled Jones to discover and display for a time his 
own very great talent as supervisor of the editorial 
policy of The Times; but for the eighteen years 
from its establishment to Raymond's death it was 
known to the country as Raymond's newspaper. 
Its virtues were largely his; its weakness was chiefly 
due to his one uncontrollable defect, an addiction 
to politics. 

Raymond was born on a farm near Lima, N. Y., in 
1820, and graduated from the University of Vermont 
in 1840. For a few months thereafter he supported 
himself in New York as a free lance newspaperman, 
but was about to give it up in despair and become a 
school teacher in North Carolina when Greeley, for 
whom he had done some writing on space, offered 
him a salary of eight dollars a week. It was Greeley 
who in later years, when Raymond was a rival 
editor, bestowed on him the title of "the Little 
Villain" — a mild enough epithet according to the 
standards of journaHstic courtesy in the fifties; 
but Greeley in his more moderate moments liked 
Raymond, and said that "a more generally efficient 
journaHst I never saw," and that Raymond was 
the only man who ever worked for him whom he 
had had to reprove for working too hard. 

After three years with Greeley, Raymond went 
over to The Courier and Enquirer^ and remained 
with that paper till plans had been made for the 
estabHshment of The Times. By that time, though 
only thirty-one, he was one of the best known and 
ablest newspapermen in New York. He was a small 
man, but pugnacious, as editors had to be in those 

13 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

days. Though it was Raymond's fortune to begin 
his independent career after the close of the period 
when editors went about in momentary expectation 
(or meditation) of personal violence, he had occasion 
more than once to display not only moral but physical 
courage in defense of his principles. As a reporter 
and editorial writer he was remarkably gifted; his 
writing was rapid, his style clear; a rarer virtue in 
those times, his copy was legible. A feat recorded 
by his biographer, Maverick, who says he was an 
eyewitness, is here cited without comment: on the 
day of Daniel Webster's death Raymond wrote, in the 
late afternoon and early evening, sixteen columns of 
the obituary — in longhand, and without the aid of 
such material as a newspaper"morgue"now furnishes. 
In his views on public questions Raymond was if 
anything too well balanced. He often lamented a 
habit of mind which inclined him to see both sides 
in any dispute. This may have hampered him as a 
politician, but on the whole it probably did The Times 
more good than harm. There were plenty of infuri- 
ated and vituperant newspapers in those days, and 
the'^success of The Times in the fifties showed that a 
considerable part of the public approved a measure 
of temperance in opinions on public affairs. To a 
certain extent, however, Raymond was really ahead 
of the time. His attitude toward the problems which 
led to and arose out of the Civil War, for example, is 
in almost every detail that which is approved by the 
judgment of history in so far as that judgment can 
ever be set down with certainty. He was a Whig 
in the early fifties, but not a bigoted Whig. He was 
not an abolitionist, but he beheved that the domi- 

14 



BEGINNINGS OF THE TIMES, 1851-1859 

nation of the federal government by the slave states 
in the interest of slavery — the domination of a 
majority by a minority — must be ended. In the 
middle of the decade he became a free-soil man and 
then one of the founders of the Republican party. 
During the war he was a bitter-ender, even in the 
dark days when better advertised patriots were 
willing to accept a peace without victory; but when 
the end was reached Raymond did his best to remove 
the bitterness. It would have been infinitely better 
for the whole country if Raymond and not Thaddeus 
Stevens had been allowed to lay down the recon- 
struction poHcy, and though Raymond went astray 
in thinking for a time that Andrew Johnson was all 
that a man in his position, with his enemies, ought 
to have been, the soundness of the principles which 
Raymond held and which Johnson rather spasmodi- 
cally tried to apply has been demonstrated by the 
subsequent course of history. 

There can be no doubt, however, that Raymond's 
preoccupation with politics distracted much of his 
attention from The Times, and the paper suffered 
heavily, though not for long, from his unpopularity 
in the early days of reconstruction. In the fifties 
it was not yet realized that the editor of a successful 
New York paper was a bigger man than the Speaker 
of the Assembly, or even the Lieutenant-Governor; 
yet it was characteristic of Raymond that when 
some of his friends wanted to put him up for Gov- 
ernor, in 1856, he refused for fear his aggressive 
record as a Whig might stand in the way of the rap- 
prochement of free-soil Whigs and free-soil Demo- 
crats in the new Republican party. 

IS 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

Raymond has perhaps too hastily been called a 
political follower of Thurlow Weed and William H. 
Seward, and some writers have even regarded Weed 
as a sort of man behind the throne on The Times. 
It is a curious foible of a certain type of mind that 
it is unable to imagine a newspaper editor as one 
who may, on some public questions, honestly have 
the same view as that held by other persons. Unless 
he is absolutely unique and eccentric in his political 
opinions, he is presumed by certain critics to be 
bought or •otherwise controlled by the people who 
agree with him. Raymond did indeed have a great 
respect for Weed^s political judgment, a general 
agreement with Weed's political views, and a friendly 
relation with Weed himself. In his early political 
career he was in a sense a follower of Weed, just* as 
he was a "follower*' of Seward in i860 to the extent 
of supporting him for the presidential nornination. 
But on many matters he disagreed with these gentle- 
men, and while their relative rank in political affairs 
was considerably higher than his in the fifties, 
Raymond's vigorous support of Lincoln gave him a 
personal influence during the Civil War that was 
due to Raymond alone. In 1864, as chairman of 
the Republican National Committee, he could hardly 
be described as a follower of anybody but Lincoln, 
who fully recognized his immense value in that year 
to the party and the nation. 

Weed often and naturally came into the Times 
ofHce to talk politics with Raymond, and no doubt 
to offer occasional thoughts on political journalism; 
but Raymond knew a good deal about politics and 
a good deal more about journalism, and would have 

16 



BEGINNINGS OF THE TIMES, 1851-1859 

known it if he had never seen Weed in his life. For 
a short time just after the Civil War Weed was a 
contributor of political articles to the paper; but 
there seems to be no foundation for the theory that 
he was ever its dominating influence, or ever tried 
to be. Raymond was not so inhuman as to have no 
friends, or so original as to have no political associ- 
ates, but he and he alone was editor of The Times. 

On August 5, 1851, the association which was to 
publish the new paper was formed under the name 
of Raymond, Jones & Company. In August, i860, 
the name was changed to H. J. Raymond & Com- 
pany; and in July, 1871, after Raymond's heirs had 
sold out their holdings, to The New York Times. 
The stock was divided into a hundred shares, the 
nominal par value of which seems to have been set 
by tacit* agreement at ^1000. Raymond received 
twenty shares **as an equivalent for his editorial 
ability." Jones and Wesley had forty shares each 
"as an equivalent for their capital and business 
ability," but the actual cash investment then made 
was only $40,000, each man putting up half. When 
the paper was estabhshed in the following month the 
cash investment seems to have totaled $69,000. 
Jones and Wesley had already found it necessary 
to increase their own investment, and to give up 
some of the stock which was to have been an equiva- 
lent for their business ability in return for cash. 
At the outset Jones and Wesley held 25 shares each; 
J. B. Plumb, Daniel B. St. John, and Francis B. 
Ruggles five shares each, and E. B. Morgan and 
Christopher Morgan two shares each. The Morgan 

17 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

interest, small as it was, has a considerable place in 
the Times history, for at a later crisis in the affairs 
of the paper (during the fight against Tweed), E. B. 
Morgan came in and bought the stock of the Ray- 
mond estate, thereby giving Jones invaluable security 
in his struggle with Tammany. 

Raymond chose for the new paper the name of 
The New-York Daily Times, which had been 
borne in the thirties by a publication so short-lived 
that for all practical purposes the name was as good 
as new. A prospectus was already in circulation 
and had been published (as an advertisement) in the 
other dailies of the city. On the whole, and in- 
evitably, the prospectus contained blameless generali- 
ties; The Times was going to include all that was 
good in both conservatism and radicalism, while 
avoiding the defects of either; it announced in firm 
tones its belief in the doctrines of Christianity and 
republicanism, which nobody in the United States 
except the Indians would in that day have denied; 
and it declared the intention of the publishers **to 
make The Times at once the best and the cheapest 
daily family newspaper in the United States." 
But along with these routine announcements there 
were one or two which meant something. The 
Times **is not established for the advancement of 
any party, sect or person." **It will be under the 
editorial management and control of Henry J. 
Raymond, and while it will maintain firmly and 
zealously those principles which he may deem 
essential to the public good, and which are held by 
the great Whig Party of the United States more 
nearly than by any other political organization, its 

i8 



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^' ■ ---'-■-''-' - -'• - ■■'Hill 


iB 

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J,i^:::3;;|;||j||,::: ^ f 


1^ r.iil, 





BEGINNINGS OF THE TIMES, 1851-1859 

columns will be free from bigoted devotion to narrow 
interests." For a party politician and office-holder 
to admit that his party could conceivably fall short 
of perfection was a novelty in the fifties. 

Moreover, ** while it will assert and exercise the 
right freely to discuss every subject of public interest, 
it will not countenance any improper interference, 
on the part of the people of any locality, with the 
institutions, or even the prejudices, of another." 

There was a reason for this. During the summer 
there had been many rumors about the new paper, 
and the motive of its founders was set down as 
almost everything but what it really was — to 
establish a new paper that would publish, as a later 
motto of The Times put it, "all the news that's fit 
to print," a phrase which exactly expresses the 
intentions of Raymond and Jones. It suited Ray- 
mond's political and journalistic enemies to accuse 
him of being an abolitionist, and the apprehensive 
rivals of the new paper tried to discredit it by assert- 
ing in advance that it was going to further the 
doctrine of abolition, or the presidential candidacy 
of General Scott, or the presidential candidacy of 
some other dignitary, or anything else that might 
seem likely to bring it into disrepute. The motive 
of this was clear enough even at the time; for the 
established newspapers made the same efforts to 
hamper the circulation of The Times that had been 
tried successively on The Sun, The Herald, and The 
Tribune — and with no more effect. New York 
was growing so fast that the extraordinary prosperity 
which attended The Times almost from the outset 
brought no real injury to any of its important rivals; 

19 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

for years thereafter they all grew and prospered 
together. 

These attacks had given the paper a good deal 
of free advertising, which was soon turned to good 
account. Raymond had collected the nucleus of an 
excellent staff — several reporters and editors, and 
a dozen employes of the mechanical departments, 
left the Tribune in a body to come over to the new 
paper — and despite the unreadiness of the building 
at 113 Nassau Street which had been rented as the 
first home of the paper, it appeared eventually only 
two days later than the date promised in the pros- 
pectus. **0n the night of the 17th of September 
[1851]," says Maverick, "the first number of The 
Times was made up, in open lofts, destitute of 
windows, gas, speaking tubes, dumb waiters, and 
general conveniences. All was raw and dismal. 
The writer remembers sitting by the open window 
at midnight, looking through the dim distance at 
Raymond's first lieutenant, who was diligently 
writing brevier" [editorial copy, so called from the 
name of the type in which it was set] "at a rickety 
table at the end of the barren garret; his only light 
a flaring candle, held upright by three nails in a 
block of wood; at the city editor, and the news-man, 
and the reporters, all eagerly scratching pens over 
paper, their countenances half lighted, half shaded, 
by other candles; at Raymond, writing rapidly and 
calmly, as he always wrote, but under similar dis- 
advantages.'' 

The first number of The Times on the streets the 
following morning contained an editorial article 
(by Raymond, of course) headed "A Word About 

20 



BEGINNINGS OF THE TIMES, 1851-1859 

Ourselves," and beginning with the declaration: 
**We publish today the first number of The New York 
Daily Times, and we intend to issue it every morning 
(Sundays excepted) for an indefinite number of 
years to come." This salutatory contained a 
promise which was soon justified by performance: 
"We do not mean to write as if we were in a passion, 
unless that shall really be the case; and we shall 
make it a point to get into a passion as rarely as 
possible. There are very few things in this world 
which it is worth while to get angry about; and they 
_are just the things that anger will not improve." 
There was rather more anger than was needful in 
most of the New York papers of that period, espe- 
cially in their editorial controversies with each 
other. Yet it is pleasant to record that editorial 
ethics in this city have shown a steady improvement. 
In the earlier decades of the nineteenth century 
editors were compelled by public opinion to back 
up their tirades against each other by appearances 
on the field of honor. By the time of Greeley and 
Bennett this practise, which made an already hazard- 
ous occupation somewhat too troublesome for com- 
fort, was dying out, and the ethics of the period 
permitted rival editors to fight out their quarrels 
with walking sticks or horsewhips when they met on 
Broadway, instead of taking to pistols and the Wee- 
hawken ferry. And in 1851 even horsewhipping 
was beginning to go out of fashion. No doubt an 
argument could be made out for this custom, in 
theory, but as a practical measure it did not seem 
to moderate editorial passions, though not every- 
body was as unconcerned as Bennett, who published 

21 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

the account of one of his own unfortunate personal 
encounters in The Herald under the heading, ^* Horse- 
whipped Again." 

By 1 85 1, however, the traffic on Broadway had 
become so heavy that it was impossible to hold it up 
while rival newspaper proprietors belabored each 
other with malacca sticks, and emotion had to be 
expressed on the editorial page. There, to be sure, 
it flourished with intensity; "vile wretch," "profli- 
gate scoundrel," and "infamous reprobate" were 
terms commonly employed as designations of pro- 
fessional colleagues, and for decades thereafter the 
newspapers gave a good deal more editorial attention 
to each other's misfortunes and shortcomings than 
the relative importance of the topic deserved. To- 
day, aside from one or two publications whose 
ethical standards are palaeolithic in other respects 
as well, the newspapers of New York usually have 
sufficient self-restraint to conceal their opinions of 
each other, and devote such editorial reference as 
they make to criticisms of specific views of a con- 
temporary rather than to animadversions on its 
editor's personal appearance and moral character. 
No doubt this mollification of manners is all for the 
best, but veteran editorial writers complain that it 
has taken a good deal of the fierce joy out of the 
newspaper business. 

The Times was by no means wholly free from 
controversies with its rivals, but except in one or 
two instances it did not carry this practise so far as 
was the custom, and thereby gave a pleasing instance 
to New York newspaper readers of the possibility 
of filling up a newspaper without recourse to the 

22 



BEGINNINGS OF THE TIMES, 1851-1859 

material of personal quarrels. Raymond was only 
once challenged to fight a duel (by an indignant 
Irish patriot) and a little diplomacy got him honor- 
ably out of that, i-n: 1 
/ This paper which was produced under the difficult 
conditions described by Maverick consisted of four 
pages, of six columns each. The page was about a 
third shorter and a third narrower than a page of 
today's Times, There were morning and evening 
editions — the latter published at one and three 
o'clock in the afternoon; but there was only one 
Times, Neither the office files nor the memory 
of the oldest living members of the staff furnish 
much information about these evening editions, but 
apparently they contained merely the news arriving 
after the paper went to press at midnight, with the 
editorial, advertising and other features persisting 
in all editions. The evening editions, in other 
words, took the place of, and in time were supplanted 
by, the second, third and later editions which the 
improvement of newspaper mechanics presently 
made it possible to issue before dayhght. 

There was also in the beginning, and for years 
thereafter, a IFeekly Family Times, Every daily 
paper had to have a weekly in those days for circu- 
lation on the farm, and in the case of The Tribune 
at least the weekly was largely responsible for Gree- 
ley's great influence. But with the extension of 
railroads it eventually became possible to get the 
daily paper circulated over a much larger part of 
the country than was possible in 1851, and after a 
long and respectable career the weekly edition of The 
Times was finally discontinued in the late seventies. 

23 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

A Semi-weekly Times, chiefly for rural readers, lasted 
some years longer. 

There was, besides, in the early days, a Times 
for California, put together whenever a mail boat 
happened to be saihng for San Francisco; and a 
Campaign Times issued in presidential years. The 
Times for California passed away with the rise of 
the California press, and the campaign edition, which 
was a weekly, died out for the same reason as The 
Weekly Family Times, 

From the beginning The Times was a good news- 
paper. The first page of the first number is a good 
specimen of the art of newspapermaking as under- 
stood in 1 85 1 . In the first column, under the " mast- 
head*' containing the terms of subscription, and so 
on, is the heading, "The News from Europe." 
Single-column headlines were the invariable rule 
then, of course, as they were until a much later 
period; and the descriptive headhne had not yet been 
invented. "The news from Europe" is preceded 
by a short summary, the opening lines of which 
illustrate the method of obtaining foreign news in 
that day: 

The Royal Mail steamer Europa arrived 
at Boston yesterday, at about six o'clock. 
Her mails were sent on by the New Haven 
railroad train, which left at 9 o'clock, and 
reached this city at an early hour last 
evening. 

By this arrival we have received our 

regular English and French files, with 

correspondence, circulars, etc., to Saturday, 

September 6 — the Europa^s day of sailing. 

24 



BEGINNINGS OF THE TIMES, 1851-1859 

The news by this arrival has consider- 
able interest, although it is not of startling 
importance. 

Then follows a brief summary of the news, and 
after that the news itself, under the headings ** Great 
Britain," ** France," etc. — most of it taken from 
the London papers. There are some three and a 
half columns of European news; then a column about 
a fugitive slave riot at Lancaster, Pennsylvania; 
the rest of the page is filled with brief local items, 
ending with perhaps a quarter of a column from 
Brooklyn. At the head of the local news is this 
paragraph: 

The weather was the theme upon which 
we hinged an item for our morning edition, 
but we have been forced to forego the 
infliction of it upon the public, by the pro- 
ceedings of the Boston Jubilee, which our 
special correspondent has forwarded us. 
Never mind, the President cannot always 
be Honizing through the country, and as 
soon as he returns home we shall endeavor 
to do this important subject full justice. 

Other local items include the announcement that 
"the fountain in Washington Square gets on toward 
completion with moderate speed," and reports of 
the appearance of the bloomer costume in Greenwich 
Village. Two or three fires are chronicled, and 
under the heading of "False Alarm" The Times 
announces: 

The Hall bell rang an alarm at 9 o'clock 
last evening for the Sixth District, but our 
item-gatherer failed to discover the first 
spark of a fire. 

25 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

It must be recorded with regret that The Herald* s 
"item-gatherer" did find that fire; but this did not 
estabHsh a precedent. The Times's merits soon 
forced its way to recognition, and the circulation 
soon began to approach that of The Herald and The 
Tribune. Reviewing the first year of the paper on 
September i8, 1852, Raymond said that "it has 
been immeasurably more successful, in all respects, 
than any newspaper of a similar character ever 
before published in the United States." So far as 
public esteem was concerned that was unques- 
tionably true, but if Raymond had stopped to 
consult Jones and Wesley he might have said "in all 
respects but one." The Times was not yet paying 
its way. Fifty thousand dollars had been spent 
at the outset for mechanical equipment. Newsprint 
paper was then as now the heaviest drain on the 
treasury (though, as paper, it was a good deal better 
in those days); of The Times* s first-year expense 
more than half — ^40,000 — was spent for paper; 
$25,000 for the wages of the mechanical and business 
departments; $13,000 on correspondents, editors, 
and reporters. The circulation at the end of the 
year was more than 26,000 — a figure highly credit- 
able, in the circumstances; but the small size of the 
paper restricted the space available for advertising, 
rates were accordingly high, and advertisers saw 
no reason for paying extra to appear in The Times 
when they could reach as many readers for less 
money in the Tribune, Sun or Herald. 

The stipulations of the articles of incorporation 
as to the division of profits were so far a mere exer- 
cise in fantasy. Raymond as editor of the paper 

26 




HENRY J. RAYMOND. 



BEGINNINGS OF THE TIMES, 1851-1859 

received a salary of ^2500 a year; Jones and Wesley 
had had only the privilege of putting in more money. 
But with the second year The Times took the plunge 
and doubled its size. It also doubled the price, 
going up to two cents a copy, and the circulation at 
once shrank from 26,000 to 18,000. But the extra 
pages gave room not only for more advertising, but 
for more news, and before long the loss in circulation 
had been more than made up. In 1857 The Times 
claimed a circulation of 40,000. 

Jones had managed the business during the first 
year, but then was constrained to take a trip to 
Europe on account of his health. Wesley had 
charge of the business office for some time thereafter, 
but in 1853 Fletcher Harper, Jr., was installed as 
publisher, having purchased some of Jones's and 
some of Wesley's stock. Harper, it seems, did not 
get along with the other partners, and in 1856 he 
sold out to them. By that time the paper was 
prospering; it appeared in some litigation in connec- 
tion with this sale that the dividends were $20,000 a 
year, and Jones and Wesley paid $1666 a share for 
Harper's stock, the par value of a share being $1000. 

Wesley sold out his interest in September, i860, 
to Raymond and Leonard W. Jerome, the latter of 
whom served as "consulting director" until 1870. 
After Harper's departure, however, Jones had re- 
sumed the management of the business office, and 
the prosperity thus early established continued un- 
broken, under his direction, for more than a quarter 
of a century. 

The Times's reputation for balance was almost 
upset only three months after its establishment, 

27 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

when Louis Kossuth came to New York to find in 
America, if he could/* material aid" for the renewal 
of the Hungarian struggle against Austria. Magyar- 
Americans of today may be surprised to learn that 
in 185 1 the Times was the principal champion in 
America of the Magyar cause, but the Hungary of 
1849 was not the Hungary of 1914. Raymond's 
enthusiasm over Kossuth — whose reception every- 
where in America was remarkably favorable, and 
whose progress excited almost as much public 
interest as the movements of JofFre in 1917 — was 
unquestionably genuine, and sprang from a love 
for the principles of liberty and nationalism, for 
which Hungary had lately fought so gallantly. 
Also, it must be admitted, the arrival of Kossuth 
was the first big local news story after the foundation 
of The TimeSy and it was necessary to show New 
York what the new paper could do. As a result 
readers of The Times often found that of their twenty- 
four columns of news and advertising three or four 
would be devoted to a speech by Kossuth (sometimes 
with the postscript, "Remainder tomorrow") and 
another column or so to an account of his doings. 

Nevertheless, the virtual adoption of Kossuth 
and Hungary by The Times was probably a good 
thing for the paper. Kossuth himself, after his 
return to Europe, acted for a time as London cor- 
respondent; and during his stay here Raymond was 
enabled to defend him — a grateful labor it must have 
been, too — against James Watson Webb, whose 
newspaper had taken on itself the function of advo- 
cate of the Hapsburgs and Romanoffs. The conflict 
between the two came to a head at a dinner given 

28 



BEGINNINGS OF THE TIMES, 1851-1859 

by the city to Kossuth on December ii, 1851, where 
Raymond had been appointed to respond to the 
toast: **The Press — the organized Voice of Free- 
dom — it whispers hope to the oppressed, and 
thunders defiance at the tyrant." As Raymond rose 
to respond to the toast and express the sentiment 
of the company, Webb also rose, of his own accord. 
From the editorial attitude of his paper it was clear 
that he was going to whisper hope to the tyrant, 
and thunder defiance at the oppressed. There was 
a good deal of confusion, and Webb was finally 
suppressed by the police. Raymond delivered his 
speech, and then entreated the audience to hear 
Webb on the other side; but Webb's remarks were 
drowned by hisses and hoots, and he was compelled 
to save them up and print them in his paper next day. 

On another occasion in that first year Raymond's 
aggressive personality brought himself and his 
paper into prominence. The Whig National Con- 
vention met at Baltimore in June, 1852. Like the 
national conventions of both parties for years past, 
it was dominated by a vigorous and truculent group 
of southern leaders who were determined that 
neither the platform nor the candidate should be 
suspected of hostility to the extension of the "pecu- 
liar institution." Fillmore was generally favored 
by the southern delegates. General Winfield Scott 
by the northern; with a little group of willful men 
sticking to Daniel Webster. 

The southerners had their way in every detail 
of organization and in the writing of the platform, 
but the northern leaders expected that their com- 
plaisance in this respect would be met by southern 

29 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

acceptance of Scott's candidacy. Raymond, who 
was present as the chief correspondent of The TimeSy 
mentioned this expectation in a dispatch to the 
paper during the balloting, and added, "If Scott 
is not nominated, they will charge breach of faith 
on the South/' This was promptly telegraphed 
back to James Watson Webb from his paper in New 
York, and Webb at once gave the dispatch (which 
had somewhat misrepresented Raymond's language) 
to some of the southern leaders. The balloting 
for a candidate was interrupted on the last day by a 
demand for the expulsion of Raymond from the 
convention as the author of an infamous and false 
attack on the integrity of the delegates. 

For Raymond was by this time a delegate, having 
been chosen by the New York representatives to take 
the place of a man who had gone home. At the 
time this was represented as a mere accident; but it 
appears to have been done with intent. Some of 
the northern leaders were disgusted and ashamed 
at their continual humiliations at the hands of the 
southern fire-eaters; and knowing Raymond as a bril- 
liant orator of unquestioned courage, they had told a 
delegate from Oswego to go home and give his seat 
to Raymond. The offending dispatch and the intru- 
sive Webb were consequently more or less accidental 
provocatives of a fight already arranged, to which 
both sides were looking forward — the southerners 
with confidence, the New Yorkers with trepidation. 

Raymond's speeches on this occasion were a good 
example of his manner. At the beginning they were 
mild, conciliatory, almost evasive; he disclaimed 
any intention to charge a bargain between North 

30 



BEGINNINGS OF THE TIMES, 1851-1859 

and South; he had merely expressed his own opinion. 
But then he exploded into a declaration that he 
would assert and continue to assert his opinion that 
if the South did not meet the North halfway its 
delegates would be justly open to charge of a breach 
of faith, and he, Raymond, would charge them with 
it *'here and everywhere." Then he turned on one 
Cabell, of Florida, a veteran bravo of the debating 
platform, who had volunteered to "put the Aboli- 
tionist in his place.** In a moment Raymond had 
Cabell indignantly declaring to the chairman, "Sir, 
I cannot, I shall not, submit to language of that 
kind.'* Raymond replied, "Permit me to tell the 
gentleman from Florida that when he puts words 
into my mouth which I have not used, for the purpose 
of founding an accusation upon me, he will submit 
to whatever language I may see fit to use in repelling 
his aspersions.** 

It was the first time in many years that a north- 
erner had dared to use such language toward a rep- 
resentative of the southern oligarchy. According to 
southerners present, this speech "not only annihi- 
lated Cabell at the convention, but he never got 
rid of its damaging effects when he got home.** And 
a writer, evidently an eyewitness, who gave an 
account of the episode in The Albany Evening Journal 
after Raymond's death, observed: 

From that hour the Whig Party assumed 
a new character, and its representatives 
(with a few disgraceful exceptions) a bolder 
attitude. . . . Mr. Raymond's clarion voice, 
on that memorable occasion, sounded the 
opening notes in the death knell of slavery. 

31 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

This incident deserves some notice for the reason 
that in those early years Raymond's career was so 
largely identical with the history of The Times. But 
it was not altogether so. In 1854 the Kansas- 
Nebraska Act had begun to split both parties at the 
North, and was preparing the way for the great 
organization which carried Lincoln to the White 
House only six years later. Raymond was nomi- 
nated for Lieutenant-Governor by the Whig state 
convention in 1854 (to the great disgust of Greeley, 
who had wanted the office), but he had already been 
present as a delegate at an Anti-Nebraska conven- 
tion, which accepted the regular nominations that 
had been forced largely by its threat of secession. 
The Whigs carried the state by a few hundred votes, 
and Raymond ran a few hundred more ahead of the 
gubernatorial candidate; but the editorial attitude 
of The Times was reserved during the campaign, 
and it certainly was never used to promote its editor's 
political fortunes. 

Two years later Raymond's friends wanted him 
to become a candidate for Governor, but, as already 
related, he refused. Whigs and Democrats were 
uniting in the organization of a new party to prevent 
the further extension of slavery, and Raymond did 
not want his personality, or any recollection of old 
animosities either between parties or among Whigs, 
to stand in the way of that movement. The Re- 
publican party, as a national organization, had been 
established at an informal convention held at 
Pittsburgh in February, 1856, a convention which 
gave the call for the Philadelphia convention in 
June that nominated Fremont. Raymond was 

32 



BEGINNINGS OF THE TIMES, 1851-1859 

at Pittsburgh and wrote the long confession of faith 
on which the RepubHcan party was estabhshed — 
an able and convincing document, which showed 
no sympathy with the abolitionists, but did express 
the determination of moderate northerners to end 
the domination of public Hfe by southern terrorism. 
This declaration, some 10,000 words in length, was 
telegraphed from Pittsburgh and published in The 
Times, but there was little in the paper about the 
doings of the Pittsburgh convention, and no editorial 
comment till long after Raymond's return. In 
the campaign of 1856 The Times and Raymond took 
a prominent part, and from that time on for twenty- 
eight years The Times stood in the front rank of the 
RepubHcan journalism of the country; but whatever 
neglect the institution might have been able to 
charge against its editor when he strayed aside into 
politics, it could never have accused him of making 
the paper an instrument of propaganda or a means 
to personal advancement. 

Newspaper mechanics was an infant art in the 
fifties, and the papers of those days of course differed 
greatly in contents and make-up from those of 
today. Whether all the changes have been for the 
better or not is to be doubted. Considering the 
conditions. The Times in the fifties was an excellent 
newspaper — so for that matter were The Herald 
and The Tribune. The telegraph was coming into 
more and more general use, but still was something 
of a novelty, and an expensive novelty. "The 
latest by telegraph" was a heading apt to stand over 
a column or two of brief and heterogeneous items 

33 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

from everywhere, with most of the details coming 
along later by mail. 

Local news was written much more in the editorial 
manner than is common today. If a reporter was 
writing about a spade he called it a spade, instead of 
describing it generally as an agricultural implement, 
or referring the responsibility for calling it a spade 
to the District Attorney. Sometimes, naturally, 
he was apt to apply the offensive designation of 
spade to something which was a mere trowel, and 
the local news probably lost in impartiality what it 
gained in piquancy. The editorial page was more 
opinionated, and more violent in the expression of 
opinion, than civilized editorial pages today. But, 
allowing for the diiBFerent manners of the time, it 
can hardly be doubted that, however primitive the 
newspapermen of that time may have been, they 
had a keen scent for news. 

An example from the early history of The Times: 
In September, 1854, the steamer Arctic was sunk 
in a collision in the North Atlantic, with a loss of 
several hundred lives. Rumors of the disaster had 
been prevalent for several days, after the steamer's 
failure to arrive had excited apprehension, but not 
till the night of October loth did these rumors be- 
come precise. Even then nobody could find respon- 
sible authority for the report that the Arctic had 
been sunk, and the night city editor of The Times, 
having "put the paper to bed,'' climbed on a horse 
car to go home in the early morning hours, thinking 
that nothing more could be done. By one of those 
pieces of good luck which do happen to newspaper- 
men more often than a skeptical world believes, 

34 



BEGINNINGS OF THE TIMES, 1851-1859 

though not so often as the harassed reporter could 
desire, the editor's attention was attracted to a 
befuddled passenger on the horse car who was 
attempting to tell the conductor all about the terrible 
disaster at sea. The conductor, no doubt, was 
not so attentive as could be desired, nor was the 
narrator entirely clear in thought and speech. The 
editor did his best, but could overhear only a few 
disjoined phrases, among which were "Herald" 
and "bottle of wine." The first of these told him 
where the news had gone, and the second warned 
him that the prudent Herald stafF had done what 
they could do to make it impossible for anybody else 
to get a coherent story from their informant. 

But there was another way out. The editor 
hurried back to the Times building and had the 
presses stopped. The Herald was already on the 
press, beyond doubt; and a man from the Times 
press room, in whose ability to do difficult things 
everybody seems to have had confidence, was told 
to go to the Herald building and get the first copy 
printed. He returned presently and reported that 
the Herald press room was locked up and that the 
carriers who ordinarily distributed the paper before 
daylight had been shut out. The Herald, having 
a big exclusive story, had sent out its mail circula- 
tion, but had determined to hold up the papers for 
the city until an hour after all its competitors were 
in the hands of their readers — when the appearance 
of The Herald with this huge beat would be the more 
impressive. 

The pressman was promised fifty dollars if he 
could get a copy of The Herald in spite of these 

3S 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

obstacles; and by means not recorded by the ancient 
chroniclers, he did it. And there was the full story 
of the Arctic disaster by the first returning survivor, 
George H. Burns. The Times composing room 
staff was hastily reassembled — no doubt some of 
them were found in near-by and easily accessible 
gathering places such as the vigilance of Mr. Volstead 
has now abolished — and The Herald's story was 
reset and injected into the first page of The Times. 

The Times city edition was circulated at the usual 
time the next morning, and no doubt when The 
Herald appeared an hour later many worthy citizens 
thought with contempt that it had merely lifted 
Burns's story from The Times. The next day a 
number of survivors arrived, and Raymond himself 
turned reporter and put himself under the city 
editor's orders for a task which, considering the 
limited facilities of the day, was about as hard as 
that which the Times staff confronted after the 
Titanic was sunk — and which was met as success- 
fully. 

Maverick, in recording this episode, appears to 
think it necessary to forestall criticism by saying 
that of course Burns had undoubtedly given his 
story to The Herald in the supposition that it would 
at once be communicated to all the other papers, 
and that in lifting it The Times was merely carrying 
out his wishes and thwarting an iniquitous competitor. 
Maybe so. At any rate, the night city editor was 
raised five dollars a week, which was quite a lot of 
money in those days. 

The front page of a New York newspaper in the 
fifties was usually devoted for the most part either 

36 



BEGINNINGS OF THE TIMES, 1851-1859 

to telegraphic news of the doings of Congress and 
the administration, or to European news, of which a 
much larger amount was printed In proportion to 
the size of the paper than was dreamed of in recent 
years, until the war. In August, 1858, New York 
was in a frenzy of excitement over the successful 
laying of the first Atlantic cable, but that fragile 
connection survived barely long enough to endure 
some polite interchange of felicitations between Queen 
Victoria and President Buchanan, and then became 
unworkable. Not till almost a decade later was 
permanent cable communication established, and 
even in the Franco-Prussian War cable news con- 
sisted of little but a collection of brief official dis- 
patches and announcements, with most of the news 
conveyed by mail. 

In the fifties it all came by mail, and an ingenious 
and elaborate technique had been evolved to get 
it as quickly as possible. Correspondents of papers 
and news associations in Europe sent their letters, 
their digests of current happenings, and the latest 
English or French papers by the last mail to the 
transatlantic steamers, which were met off Cape 
Race by pilot boats which took off the news dis- 
patches. These were then taken ashore and tele- 
graphed to New York, when this was possible; 
usually only the briefest skeleton of the latest news 
could be sent by wire, and the bulk of it had to 
come by train. More than once The Times's dis- 
patches during the war in Italy in 1859 were pub- 
lished in a fragmentary condition, with the explana- 
tion that a telegraph operator at some relay point 
between New York and the Nova Scotian coast 

37 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

had closed his office and gone home for the night, 
leaving news dispatches to wait till tomorrow. 

The news thus arriving would be headed some- 
what as follows: 

THREE DAYS LATER FROM EUROPE 

Arrival of the ^^City of Paris'* 
The New English Cabinet 
And so on. 

Other overseas mail correspondence to which 
much space was given was the news from California, 
where men who had gone to dig wealth from the 
ground were preparing the way for a race which 
should develop new possibilities in the exercise of the 
free imagination, and from Central America, where 
William Walker and his associates were valiantly 
trying to repeat the exploits of Pizarro and Cortez, 
and create the Golden Circle which would com- 
pensate the slave states for the prospective loss of 
control of the Federal government. 

On the second and third pages were book reviews, 
and general articles something like those now appear- 
ing in newspaper magazine sections. The fourth 
page, editorial, began with a summary of the day's 
news, and usually included dramatic and musical 
news and critiques, besides leading articles. Very 
late telegraphic news was often put on the editorial 
page, or the page opposite. Local news and ad- 
vertisements occupied much of the fifth, sixth, and 
seventh pages, and the last page was devoted chiefly 
to financial and commercial news and advertising. 
This is of course a generalized description, and any 

38 



BEGINNINGS OF THE TIMES, 1851-1859 

given issue of any paper might depart considerably 
from the type; but substantially this seems to have 
been the idea of a good newspaper in the fifties. 
And, allowing for the handicaps imposed by the 
immature mechanical development of the time, it is a 
pretty good newspaper even yet. 

Raymond is credited with the invention of the 
display headline in 1856, but ideas of display were 
more modest in those days, and found sufficient 
exercise within the limits of a single column. Even 
in the Civil War single-column heads sufficed. The 
Times on April 4, 1865, for example, told of the 
capture of the Confederate capital under a single- 
column head as follows: 

GRANT 



Richmond 

and 
Victory 

This was in the first of the six columns; in the 
last was the story of the efFect of the news in New 
York, of course with its own head; and the four 
columns between were filled in with a cut of the 
American eagle, somewhat precariously grasping 
his thunderbolts, his olive branch, and Richmond 
all at the same time. Lee's surrender was dis- 
played with a single-column head, and so was Lin- 
coln's death— which The Times, for the guidance of 
its readers, described in the top line of the head as 
an ''Awful Event." On great occasions the telegraph 
editor sometimes found it desirable to attract atten- 
tion by beginning his head with the admonitory 

39 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

line, "Highly Important News," but not till the 
days of the Tweed ring, when The Times had the 
biggest local exclusive story that had ever come to a 
New York paper, did the headlines go beyond a 
single column. However, display headlines, and 
even descriptive headlines, are an acquired taste, as 
is evident from the fact that most of the world out- 
side the United States still gets along without them. 
The newspapers of the fifties afforded little con- 
solation to those who want to read the headlines 
because they lack the time or the intelligence to 
read the news; they were published for people who 
had time to spend on finding out what was going on. 
It may be that our generation prefers to read the 
headline "Manning, Elevated to Bishop, Voices 
Curb on RadicaHsm" (to select a recent example, 
not from The Tm^j), rather than look into the article 
in the hope of finding out exactly to what, and in 
what sense. Dr. Manning was elevated, and just 
how a curb may be voiced. Perhaps this preference 
is natural and inevitable, an outgrowth of the spirit 
of the time, whatever that is. If so, as Henry 
Adams said about life, one may accept it without 
feeling the necessity of pretending to admire it. 

The Times was never (with the conspicuous 
exception of its campaign against Tweed) a crusading 
paper. It has on occasion done its share in exposing 
conditions that needed correction, but it does not 
select this one out of many activities of a good 
newspaper as a life work. It crusaded occasionally 
and mildly in the fifties, but after the time of Kossuth 
it never lost its balance. In 1856, for example, 

40 



BEGINNINGS OF THE TIMES, 1851-1859 

It gave a good deal of attention to the condition of 
the streets, and seemed much encouraged when 
public indignation was aroused and an attempt was 
made to compel the city government to give back a 
little service in return for unlimited opportunity 
of peculation. They had much to learn in the 
fifties; not for forty years were New York streets 
to be measurably improved, and the art of snow 
removal is far from perfection even yet. 

In 1857 James W. Simonton, then Washmgton 
correspondent of The Times, exposed a magnificent 
scheme of land-stealing and corruption m connection 
with the extension of railroads into Minnesota. 
The affair seems to have been conducted in the 
grand manner, very much as the similar enterprise 
described in "The Gilded Age." The House of 
Representatives was outraged in its finest sensi- 
bilities by Simonton's charges that four of its mem- 
bers were corruptly involved, and he was sum- 
moned before a Congressional committee for proper 
rebuke. By the time the committee had finished 
with Simonton it had been compelled to admit that 
he was telling the truth, and to recommend that the 
four guilty men be expelled. 

Soon after Simonton was sent across the plains 
with General Albert Sidney Johnston's expedi- 
tionary force against the Mormons. To the regret, 
perhaps, of certain persons, among them newspaper 
editors eager to show how ably they could cover a 
war, Brigham Young came down as promptly as 
Davy Crockett's coon. Simonton went on to 
California and was lost to The Times. But another 
and greater war was on hand, and The Times added 

41 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

greatly to its prestige by its efficiency in giving the 
news of the war in Italy in 1859. 

Raymond covered that war himself, ably assisted 
by his Paris correspondent, Dr. W. E. Johnston, 
who, following a custom prevalent then and till 
much later, wrote over the pen name of "MalakofF." 
The most brilliant incident of Raymond's career 
as a war correspondent was his eyewitness account 
of the battle of Solferino, perhaps the best of many 
admirable pictures of the war which The Times 
pubHshed. Solferino displayed not only Raymond's 
ability as a writer but his talent as a news editor. 
In those days the press of the world was divided 
into two classes. In Class I, alone and unapproach- 
able, stood The London Times; the other newspapers 
of Europe and America differed only in their degree 
of inferiority — at least, in the public estimation. 
A London Times correspondent was of course at 
Solferino, apparently as essential a part of the 
battle as the three sovereigns who honored it with 
their personal attention; and Raymond knew that 
when The London Times with this man's account 
reached New York every editor would feel that the 
definitive and decisive story had arrived. Raymond 
decided not only to have as good a story as The 
London Times, but to beat it to New York — a feat 
which of course would have to be accomplished by 
mail. Through "Malakoff's" influence Raymond's 
dispatch, written among the wounded in Castiglione 
while the guns still sounded a few miles away, was 
taken to Paris with Napoleon's own dispatches by a 
French military messenger, and given to Mrs. 
Raymond, then at a Paris hotel. With it were 

42 




GEORGE JONES. 



BEGINNINGS OF THE TIMES, 1851-1859 

directions from her husband to put it on the first 
steamer leaving either England or France for New 
York. Mrs. Raymond seems to have been a pretty 
good reporter herself, in emergencies; thirty hours 
later she put her husband's dispatch on the Liverpool 
mail boat with her own hands. At that moment 
The London Times, whose story had come up from 
Italy by the same messenger, was just appearing 
on the streets in London; but it missed the New York 
mail and arrived ten days after Raymond's account 
of the battle had been published. 

Solferino may serve as an illustration of the slow- 
ness with which European news reached New York 
in those days before the cable. The battle was 
fought on the 24th of June. On July 7, under the 
heading "The War in Italy — Advices Three Days 
Later," The Times published the batch of news 
brought on a steamer leaving Ireland on June 26. 
The beginning of the two columns of news announced 
that the steamer had been "boarded off Cape Race 
by the news yacht of the Associated Press, " which 
took off "the synopsis of news prepared by our 
Liverpool agent." This reached St. John's, New- 
foundland, on July 4, and managed to get to New 
York by telegraph on the 6th. "Our Liverpool 
agent's" synopsis closed on June 23, and consisted 
mainly of official announcements in Vienna and 
Paris that a battle might be fought, would be 
fought, but had not yet been fought. Down below 
all this, an inch or two above the bottom of the 
column, appeared a modest item dated in Paris, on 
June 25, and headed "The Very Latest by Tele- 
graph to Galway." It contained Napoleon's dis- 

43 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

patch to Eugenie announcing the decisive victory at 
Solferino. 

This dispatch, of course, had been mentioned in 
the headUne — three or four banks below the top — 
and it was handled editorially with a due sense of its 
importance. The leading article was an admirable 
analysis of the campaign and drew from very scanty 
material inferences fully justified by the event. 
But the custom of printing the news first received 
at the top of the column and letting the later dis- 
patches follow in chronological order had a strong 
hold on newspaper tradition. Not till the seventies 
did it occur to some enterprising journalist that it 
might be a good idea to put the latest or most im- 
portant news at the head of the column. The 
next mail boat brought Raymond's and *'MalakofF's" 
dispatches, which The Times published on July 12 — : 
again with the first dispatch first, and the story of 
Solferino trailing along toward the end. The Times 
that day gave up two of its eight pages to news and 
correspondence from the war. As early as 1852 
it had devoted seven of its 24 columns to the news 
of the final day in the famous Whig convention at 
Baltimore (and this without any undue prominence 
for Raymond); and in 1856 nine columns of the 48 
(including the whole front page) were one morning 
given up to the publication of the full text of cor- 
respondence in a diplomatic dispute with England. 
Whether these displays were disproportionate is a 
matter of taste. 

Raymond's feats, however, were not the only 
source of distinction for The Times in the Italian 
war. Quite as much attention was aroused by an 

44 



BEGINNINGS OF THE TIMES, 1551-1859 

exploit on the internal front which tradition ascribes 
to William Henry Hurlburt, whom Raymond had 
left in charge of the editorial page. On the morning 
of July 15, 1859, this gentleman was one of a party 
who saw a friend off on a steamer. The party spent 
an enjoyable morning, and then Hurlburt went to 
the office to write an editorial about the Quadrilat- 
eral, the famous Austrian fortress group to which 
the armies of Francis Joseph retired after the defeat 
at Solferino. Apparently his mind wandered from 
time to time — now to the cabinet crisis in England, 
now to the new fortifications of Paris, and now to 
the social morning just ended. The result appeared 
on the Times editorial page the next morning under 
the heading, "The Defensive Square of Austrian 
Italy." Future sociologists of this well prohibited 
republic are commended to a study of this article. 

The Times proofroom was then regarded as the 
best in New York, but a few days before that a 
proofreader had ventured to change a word in one 
of Hurlburt*s editorials, and had been ordered, with 
much indignation, never to do so again. He read 
this article on the Quadrilateral, and found therein 
such expressions as the following: "If we shall 
follow the windings of the Mincio, we shall find 
countless elbows formed in the elbows of the regular 
army." ... "If we follow up the course of the 
Mincio, we shall find innumerable elbows formed 
by the sympathy of youth." . . . "Notwith- 
standing the toil spent by Austria on the spot, we 
should have learned that we are protected by a 
foreign fleet suddenly coming up on our question of 
citizenship. A canal cuts Mantua in two, but we 

45 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

may rely on the most cordial cabinet minister of 
the new power in England." , . . "The Adige 
is deep and swift at Verona; Paris is strong in her 
circle of fortifications.*' Along with much else 
which was plausible and often accurate. 

Whereupon the proofreader remembered that he 
had been forbidden to touch a word of Hurlburt's 
copy, and the article was printed as written. 

Next day it was reprinted as it ought to have been 
written, with an apologetic note that **by a confusion 
of manuscripts sent up at a late hour" a regrettable 
error had occurred; which, The Times admitted, had 
furnished **a happy occasion for airing a little envy, 
malice, and uncharitableness to the less respectable 
among the daily journals." A friend of Raymond's 
reports that when he read this article in Paris, weeks 
later, he "denounced it," as was natural enough; 
but did not disavow it. This generosity is praise- 
worthy, but it would have been rather late for a 
disavowal by that time. 

So by the opening of the Civil War The New York 
Times (the "Daily" had been dropped from the 
title in 1857) had already won itself a place as one 
of the great papers of America. Also, it had pros- 
pered. As early as 1855 i^ claimed the honor of 
being second only to The Herald in circulation, and 
by the end of its first decade nobody in the Times 
oflRce would admit that it had any superior. 

The original quarters were long since outgrown. 
As early as 1854 The Times had begun to think of 
moving, but when plans for a new home became more 
definite the paper had reached such a degree of 

46 



BEGINNINGS OF THE TIMES, 1851-1859 

prosperity that it was possible to build on a more 
magnificent scale than could have been hoped a few 
years earlier. The first Times Building — first, that 
is, of those which the paper built for itself — into which 
the paper entered on May i, 1858, occupied the 
triangle between Park Row and Nassau and Beek- 
man Streets, on the spot where the second Times 
Building, erected in 1888, still stands. The growth of 
the paper in recent years led to the erection of the 
Times Building in Times Square, and then of the 
Times Annex in West 43 d Street, which already is 
uncomfortably small; and each of the four homes of 
The Times has in its turn been the finest newspaper 
building in the country. 

The structure which seemed so magnificent in the 
fifties would of course be somewhat commonplace 
today, but in its time it was far superior to anything 
ever built for the accommodation of an American 
newspaper. For its erection a sixty per cent 
assessment was levied on the stock, and all profits 
above twenty per cent a year were set aside for the 
time being for a building fund. The Times was 
making money — enough money to justify its 
owners in what then seemed to some of their con- 
temporaries a rather hazardous investment in un- 
necessary luxury. The five stories of the Times 
Building rose to the dizzy height of eighty feet above 
City Hall Park, and from the windows of the top 
floor, as Maverick wrote, "the upper part of New 
York is spread out before the eye in one grand 
panoramic view." 



47 



CHAPTER II 

Civil War and Reconstruction, 1860-1869 

"O AYMOND, as has been said, seems to have been 
-■-^ somewhat ashamed of his abihty, even rarer 
in that day than at present, to see both sides of 
a question, and felt that it sometimes gave him an 
appearance of irresolution. Probably the fault was 
more evident to him than to others. Certainly in 
the great crisis that led up to the Civil War, and 
throughout the war itself, there was nothing irres- 
olute or Laodicean about either Raymond or his 
paper; and the disfavor into which both fell for 
a time in the early days of reconstruction was due 
to the fact that Raymond happened to be right 
when the majority was wrong. 

The oldest living member of the present Times 
staff dates his connection with the paper from some 
years after the close of the Civil War. Probably 
every member of the staff of i860 is dead; certainly 
all the men who contributed to the formation of an 
editorial policy which in all its essentials was di- 
rected by Raymond himself. Present workers on 
The Times may be pardoned, then, for expressing a 
somewhat impersonal admiration for the manner in 
which the paper met the crisis. It was firm in a 
time when there was a great deal of irresolution; 
but what was a rarer virtue, it saw the issues clearly 
in a period when loose thinking was even more 

48 



CIVIL WAR AND RECONSTRUCTION, 1860-1869 

general, and perhaps more destructive, than weak- 
ness of will. 

Raymond had no more sympathy with Phillips 
and Garrison and the rest of the abolitionist radicals 
of the North than with the sabre-toothed fire-eaters 
of South Carolina. While some other New York 
papers took the occasion of John Brown's raid on 
Harper's Ferry to offer the South some words of 
warning as to the constant danger of insurrection 
that was an inevitable concomitant of slavery, The 
Times dwelt rather on the fact that the slaves had 
not joined Brown's party, and called the raid itself 
the work of either ** irresponsible anarchy or wild 
and reckless crime." Raymond was entirely in sym- 
pathy with the moderate attitude on slavery which 
was held by most thinking men at the North. He 
did not admire slavery; and eventually, in the letters 
to Yancey, which will be noticed below, he did go 
at some length into the difficulties and dangers 
which the institution might be expected eventually 
to bring upon any society by which it was tolerated. 
But he felt that slavery in the South, though objec- 
tionable on moral and political grounds, was a 
southern question; the great issue of the day was 
not slavery but the slave power in politics, and the 
struggle with that power was indeed an irrepressible 
conflict. 

In the campaign of i860 The Times was one of the 
leading Republican papers of the country, and 
though it favored Seward for the presidential nomi- 
nation, from first to last it displayed a degree of 
confidence in Abraham Lincoln that was not uni- 
versal among Republicans of the East. It may be 

49 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

supposed that in a period of such violent political 
emotions and such important issues the natural ten- 
dency of a newspaper to find unsuspected merits in 
the candidate of its party would be strengthened; 
but The Times was not content with expressing its 
own confidence in Lincoln, it quoted copiously from 
his speeches of the past as well as reproducing those 
of the current campaign, and did its best to give 
the East a proper picture of this man whom an over- 
ruling providence, or the accidents of political ma- 
nipulation, had set up as the candidate of the Repub- 
licans. At the same time, its treatment of Stephen 
A. Douglas won from that gentleman an acknowl- 
edgment of "the courtesy and kindness which it 
alone of the New York journals has shown me.'* 

After the election, when the secessionists at last 
began to put their theories into practise, Raymond 
set forth his idea of the national issues in a series 
of four letters to William L. Yancey of Alabama, 
whom he regarded as at that time the leading spirit 
in the secession movement, and who had provoked 
him by a letter to The Herald. Those letters, pub- 
lished in The Times during November and December, 
i860, are perhaps the ablest of Raymond's writings, 
and after the lapse of sixty years still furnish per- 
haps as satisfactory an analysis of the underlying 
issues of the Civil War as has ever been compressed 
into this space. **We shall stand," Raymond wrote 
in his concluding letter, published after South Caro- 
lina had already seceded, **on the Constitution 
which our fathers made. We shall not make a new 
one, nor shall we permit any human power to de- 
stroy the old one. . . . We seek no war — we 

50 



CIVIL WAR and; RECONSTRUCTION, 1860-1869 

shall wage no war except in defense of the consti- 
tution and against its foes. But we have a country 
and a constitutional government. We know its 
worth to us and to mankind, and in case of neces- 
sity we are ready to test its strength.'* 

That sentiment guided the editorial course of The 
Times through the turbulent winter between Lin- 
coln's election and the attack on Fort Sumter. 
Raymond deprecated, as all sensible men depre- 
cated, any hasty aggression which might provoke 
to violence men who could still, perhaps, be brought 
back to reason; but he insisted that as a last resort 
the union must be maintained by any means neces- 
sary. To the proposals for compromise he was 
favorable, on condition that they did not compro- 
mise the essential issue — that they did not nuUify 
the election of i860 and give back to the slave 
power the control of the national government which 
it had lost. Because no other compromise would 
have been acceptable the issue inevitably had to 
be fought out, and from Sumter to Appomattox The 
Times was unwavering in its support of Lincoln and 
its determination that the Federal union must and 
should be preserved. Its editorial comment on 
Lincoln's first inaugural address was an index of 
its position in the weeks just before war broke 
out. After reviewing Lincoln's program The Times 
observed: "If the dangers of the hour can be 
averted and the Union can be saved, this is the 
basis on which alone it can be accompUshed. If the 
Union cannot be saved on this basis and consist- 
ently with these principles it is better that it should 
not be saved at all." 

51 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

Raymond's letters to Yancey took up several 
columns each, but they were worth it. The editor 
of the paper certainly did not allow it to become in 
any sense a personal organ; on March i, 1861, it 
published an address which he had delivered some 
days before on the policy of the Republican party, 
but with an apologetic note that it was inserted 
"perhaps to the exclusion of more interesting mat- 
ter." It was as a matter of fact an illuminating 
statement on the prospective course of the new ad- 
ministration, from a man who spoke with some 
authority — and with an authority which was to 
increase from year to year. Besides directing The 
Times in the war years, Raymond engaged in a good 
deal of active work for the Republican party in 
state and nation. He became one of Lincoln's 
most valued political helpers, and in 1864 was the 
chairman of the New York delegation at the national 
convention. He had a good deal to do with the 
composition of the platform, and was largely respon- 
sible for the vice-presidential nomination of Andrew 
Johnson, a gentleman in whom Raymond not only 
had a personal confidence which he eventually ad- 
mitted was misplaced, but whom he valued as a 
representative of the Union minority in the South, 
and a sort of living symbol that the Union had not 
been and would not be disrupted. 

Raymond was presently made chairman of the 
Republican National Committee and directed the 
campaign that reelected Lincoln. Unfortunately, 
he also allowed himself to be a congressional candi- 
date in New York City. In 1863 he had received 
some votes for the Senatorship, but not enough. 

52 



CIVIL WAR AND RECONSTRUCTION, 1860-1869 

He was elected to the lower House, however, and 
took his seat in March, 1865. His course, as will 
be related presently, was highly creditable to his 
judgment and principles, but temporarily unfor- 
tunate not only for his own political repute but 
for the welfare of The Times, 

During the war, however. The Times made an 
excellent record not only as an organ of opinion but 
as a medium of the news. And the Civil War, it 
is hardly necessary to recall, effected a great trans- 
formation in American journalism. For the first 
time in American history since the invention of the 
railroad and telegraph a situation had arisen in 
which the public wanted to know what had hap- 
pened yesterday rather than some man's opinion 
on what had happened last week. Before hostilities 
had begun papers which previously had printed 
not more than two or three columns of telegraph 
news a day were printing two or three pages. 
Correspondence by mail still existed, but was ac- 
cepted only with reluctance, when nothing better 
could be obtained. Even in the fifties, New York 
papers, maintaining regular correspondents in Wash- 
ington, could depend for news from the rest of the 
country for the most part on brief telegrams to the 
Associated Press, supplemented by details from the 
local papers when these arrived by mail, and occa- 
sionally by letters from correspondents who as likely 
as not were volunteers. But by i860 every New 
York newspaper that wanted to deserve that name 
had to maintain a large staff of its own correspond- 
ents in the southern states. Thanks to their exer- 

53 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

tions, the North knew pretty well what the South 
was thinking in that critical year; and the South 
might have been better off if its knowledge of the 
North had been as extensive. 

The work of these correspondents involved a good 
deal both of difficulty and of danger. When seces- 
sion came to be a fact and civil war was visibly just 
around the corner, northerners in the South were 
under suspicion. The hazards that attended jour- 
nalism under these conditions may be illustrated by 
the case of "Jasper," the Times correspondent in 
Charleston. From the secession of the state until 
the beginning of the war, Jasper sent every day full, 
and apparently fair, dispatches giving the news from 
Charleston and the sentiments of South Carolina. 
The reactions of some indignant readers of The 
Times were of the sort with which The Times be- 
came familiar during the recent war. Honest citi- 
zens felt that only news which they liked could be 
true. It was assumed that because The Times 
printed news which might be favorable to the rebels 
it, or its correspondent, Jasper, was consequently 
in sympathy with rebellion. There were demands 
that this "secessionist" be no longer permitted to 
spread his propaganda in the columns of The Times. 
To one of these complaints The Times replied edi- 
torially that "Jasper went to Charleston with in- 
structions to write strictly what was true, and to 
give the facts as they might fall under his obser- 
vation, whether favorable to secession or otherwise." 
It was added that perhaps the desirability of get- 
ting his dispatches through the Charleston telegraph 
office had led Jasper to take a view of some phases 

54 



CIVIL WAR AND RECONSTRUCTION, 1860-1869 

of the situation which would be acceptable to the 
Carolina censors — a consideration which ham- 
pered correspondents in Germany from 1914 to 1917. 
But that Jasper was doing his best to tell the truth 
was evident from his later misfortunes. After he 
had watched the bombardment of Fort Sumter for 
several hours he was suddenly arrested as a Federal 
spy and locked up in a jail which, he complained, 
was fit only for negroes. A day or so later he 
was released and ordered to take the first train north, 
and his demand for the restoration of his watch 
and pocketbook was met by the warning from the 
Governor that he had better not linger in Charleston, 
as the authorities would probably be unable to protect 
him from the mob. Jasper finally escaped to Wash- 
ington, in disguise. His experiences diflPer in degree 
rather than in kind from those of any newspaper- 
man who tries to tell the truth as he sees it about 
a question on which there is violent difference of 
opinion; but they were not unusual in 186 1. A 
number of northern correspondents had narrow 
escapes from lynching. 

When the war actually began these men who 
knew the South for the most part became corre- 
spondents with the armies. Raymond, with some 
assistance from the Times Washington bureau, cov- 
ered the first battle of Bull Run himself. As at 
Solferino, he saw most of it — or most of the ear- 
Her phase of it. At two o'clock, convinced that the 
victory was complete and that McDowell's army 
had nothing more to do but to march on to Rich- 
m.ond, Raymond went back to Washington to file 
his dispatch. Returning to the battlefield toward 

55 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

sunset he suddenly encountered much of the army 
and all of the spectators in precipitate retreat. The 
correspondent who had written and filed the story 
of a great victory now had to set to work to col- 
lect the news of a great disaster. Raymond did it; 
he covered the story all over and sent a substitute 
dispatch to The Times. But there was a censor in 
Washington that night, and of Raymond's two or 
three columns only a few disconnected and innocu- 
ous sentences ever got into the paper. 

This seems to have been Raymond's last appear- 
ance as a war correspondent, but the men who fol- 
lowed the Union armies for The Times in the East 
and in the West lived up to the standard which he 
had set both as a writer and as a gatherer of news. 

In the sixties it seems to have been regarded as 
a natural manifestation of the news instinct to beat 
the other correspondents on the general's intentions 
for tomorrow's battle, no matter what the injury 
to the pubhc interests. 

According to a rumor preserved in the army, 
though not in the Times office, one correspondent of 
the paper was carried away so far by his eagerness 
for news, during the battle of the Wilderness, that 
he was lucky to escape with being thrown out of the 
camp. One night Grant and Meade, being desir- 
ous of talking over in the utmost privacy what they 
thought they could do to Lee the next day, strolled 
out of the headquarters tent and down to a thicket 
just beyond the light of the campfire. As they 
were talking in low tones they heard a movement 
in the bushes, and making investigation discovered 
a Times correspondent lying on his belly and busily 

S6 



CIVIL WAR AND RECONSTRUCTION, 1860-1869 

noting down the strategic plans of the Army of the 
Potomac. Chased away from headquarters as a 
result of this, the correspondent made his way to 
Burnside's corps, and hunted news so dihgently 
there that he came near being shot by an unsym- 
pathetic subordinate officer before Grant's leniency 
permitted him to get off with a reprimand. 

A more innocent and certainly more creditable 
manifestation of newspaper enterprise, made possible 
by the imperfect communications of those days, was 
the beating of official reports by the dispatches of 
correspondents. This happened with such frequency 
that one suspects that a general pursuing a beaten 
enemy, or trying to save the remnants of his army 
from a victorious one, often thought that he might 
as well wait till tomorrow to tell the War Depart- 
ment what had happened to him, as they would 
see it all in the papers anyhow. And The Times had 
the felicity, or the prudence, to beat the official 
reports only in the case of good news. Most expert 
at this was Major Ben C. Truman, one of the chief 
Times correspondents with the western armies. 
His story of the repulse of the Confederates at Frank- 
lin, Tennessee, reached The Times four days before 
the War Department heard from Schofield, and five 
days before any other paper had the news. He also 
accomplished a notable "beat" with an advance notice 
of Sherman's march from Atlanta to the sea, which 
luckily had no disastrous effect on the campaign. 

Truman, in the opinion of some of his contem- 
poraries, was the most brilliantly successful of all 
the correspondents of the Civil War. But other 
Times men, including George F. Williams, William 

57 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

Swinton, and Lorenzo L. Crounse, served the paper 
almost as well. Swinton and Crounse were the 
principal Times correspondents with the Army of 
the Potomac. Crounse in particular had his share 
of the risks of war which correspondents encountered 
in those days much more often than in modern 
times when they are allowed to see battles only 
with infrequency and from a long distance in the 
rear. He was wounded by a shell in 1862, and 
later, with some other New York newspapermen, 
was captured by Mosby's raiders, who let them go 
after taking possession of their notebooks and car- 
rying their news back for publication in the south- 
ern papers — a fact which suggests that newspaper- 
men in those days must have taken much more 
legible notes than is the rule at present. 

Called back from the front for a time, Crounse 
served as night editor of the paper in the spring of 
1864, and his vigilance prevented The Times from 
being deceived by a forged document purporting to 
be a Presidential proclamation appointing a day of 
fasting and prayer, which was invented for its effect 
on the stock market, and was actually published in 
three New York papers. After this he got back to 
the Army of the Potomac in time to cover the fall 
of Richmond and the surrender of Lee. 

But not all the hazards of the Civil War were 
experienced by men in the field. The ^Snternal 
front" as painfully known in recent years was one 
of the great facts of the Civil War also, though 
men had not then given it a name; and the internal 
front in New York became in July, 1863, one of 
the liveliest portions of the fighting line when the 

58 





JOHN C. REID, 
Managing Editor, 1872-1889. 



LOUIS J. JENNINGS. 

Editor-in-Chief, 

1869-1876. 



JOHN FOORD, 
Editor-in-Chief, 
1876-1883. 




CIVIL WAR AND RECONSTRUCTION, 1860-1869 

troops had all gone to Pennsylvania to stop Lee 
and the draft riots broke out. Raymond was no 
more afraid of rebellion across the street than of 
rebellion in the cotton states. Some of the New 
York papers, congenitally sympathetic not only with 
the Southern Confederacy but with Tammany Hall 
and the elements from which that body and the 
draft riots both derived their chief support, found 
it convenient as well as congenial to pat the mob 
on the head. So did some of the pubUc men of the 
time; the Governor of the State did not think it 
beneath his dignity, such as it was, to try to con- 
ciUate the rioters. But while the mob was burning 
houses, plundering stores, and shooting policemen, 
Raymond was writing such lines as these: 

This mob is not our master. It is not to 
be compounded with by paying blackmail. 
It is not to be supplicated and sued to 
stay its hand. It is to be defied, confronted, 
grappled with, prostrated, crushed. 

Warned by the misfortune of The Tribune, which 
had actually been attacked by the rioters and saved 
only by opportune arrival of a detachment of the 
overworked police. The Times had fortified itself. 

The Catling gun had lately been invented and 
offered to the War Department, though it was not 
used either widely or successfully in the war. Two 
specimens of this gun had been obtained by The 
Times, according to tradition through the President's 
friendship for Raymond, and were mounted just in- 
side the business office under the command of 
Leonard W. Jerome. If the mob had not been more 
interested in attacking those who were unable to 

59 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

defend themselves, it would have found some trouble 
waiting for it at the Times office, for the entire 
staff had been armed with rifles; and there was a 
third Gatling gun on the roof, mounted so that it 
could sweep the streets in any direction. It is only 
a malicious invention of jealous rivals that this gun 
was kept trained on the window of Horace Greeley's 
office in the near-by Tribune Building. 

Raymond insisted that the draft was only the 
excuse and not the cause of the riot. 

Were the conscription law to be abrogated 
tomorrow [he wrote] the controlling in- 
spiration of the mob would remain the 
same. It comes from sources independent 
of that law, or of any other — from malignant 
hate toward those in better circumstances, 
from a craving for plunder, from a love of 
commotion, from a barbarous spite against 
a different race, from a disposition to bolster 
up the failing fortunes of the southern 
rebels. 

Indeed, the only utterance of The Times in the 
period of the riot which was in any degree ambiguous 
was its editorial comment on Archbishop Hughes's 
address, which managed, with evident difficulty, to 
be as polite, as vague, and as noncommittal as the 
utterances of the prelate himself. 

Thirty-two members of the Times staff, it may be 
added, served in the Union armies, and two went 
south to join the Confederate forces. 

Allowing for the curious taste of the time, which 
dictated such practises as beginning a long series of 

60 



CIVIL WAR AND RECONSTRUCTION, 1860-1869 

dispatches with the oldest of the lot, and burying 
the latest news at the bottom of a five-column story, 
the news judgment of war-time editors was pretty 
good. Now and then, of course, there were excep- 
tions to this rule. On November 20, 1863, for ex- 
ample. The Times published an editorial article on 
two remarkable orations which it printed in full 
that morning in its news columns. One, which took 
up two columns of the first page, was Henry Ward 
Beecher's speech at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, 
reporting his experiences as a propagandist in Eng- 
land. The other, by Edward Everett, briefly men- 
tioned in the front-page news story where it be- 
longed, was pubHshed verbatim on page 2, and 
took up all of it. 

In its editorial comment The Times remarked: 

We devote a broadside of this morning's 
Times to the publication of two orations 
which we are sure will command the attention 
of the day, and not of this day only. The 
elaborate and finished discourses of two 
such men as Edward Everett and Henry 
Ward Beecher, upon topics of such great 
national interest as those they discuss, will 
not be lightly passed over, much less 
ignored altogether, by any intelligent citizen. 

There was another speech in that day's news — 
a speech which The Times printed on the front page 
because it was part of a front-page story, and in 
full — it was only two sticks long; printed in 
full just after the much longer invocation by the 
officiating clergyman, also given word for word, and 

61 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

just ahead of the equally detailed list of prominent 
persons present. That address was received with 
applause, according to the Times report; but the 
applause was certain, even if not perfunctory, on 
account of the high position of the orator, and if 
the news story is to be believed it provoked none 
of the enthusiasm called forth by Everett's speech 
on the same occasion. And as for editorial com- 
ment, it was not merely lightly passed over, but 
ignored altogether, not only in the Times office 
but everywhere else. It was the address delivered 
by Abraham Lincoln at Gettysburg. 

The transformations which the war accomplished 
in newspaper making were not confined to the de- 
mand for more news, and an increase in the expense of 
getting it. The public which reads the newspapers 
is apt to forget that the mechanical task of getting 
the news before the public is on the whole as diffi- 
cult as the obtaining of the news in the first place, 
and usually a good deal more expensive. The war 
drove The Times to buy additional presses, and to 
adopt (in July, 1861) the process of stereotyping, 
which The Tribune had already tried out and without 
which it would have been all but impossible to meet 
the demands of a rapidly increasing circulation. 
Typesetting machines were not known until much 
later, and newspapermen of today may still experi- 
ence a salutary awe as they contemplate the very 
respectable results which their predecessors accom- 
plished with such inferior tools. 

On April 20, 1 861, eight days after the attack on 
Fort Sumter, The Times for the first time was issued 

62 



CIVIL WAR AND RECONSTRUCTION, 1860-1869 

on Sunday. There had long been in existence in 
New York papers issued on Sunday only, as there 
are in England today; but New York dailies were 
driven to the issuance of Sunday editions by the Civil 
War, as were London daiHes in the war lately ended. 
A newspaper published seven days a week still seems 
uncongenial to the English temperament; the Sunday 
issues published occasionally between 1914 and 1919 
did not establish a precedent. But the New York 
morning papers, once committed to the Sunday 
edition, never gave it up. 

At first The Sunday Times was issued at the regu- 
lar price of two cents. Before its first year was 
ended, however, it had gone up to three cents, to 
which price the daily paper followed it in 1862. 
The enormously increased telegraph tolls, the mount- 
ing prices of print paper, and the general increase in 
the cost of everything made this increase inevitable. 
In 1864 The Times ^ daily and Sunday, went up to 
four cents a copy, at which price it remained for 
nineteen years. During the war the Sunday paper 
was virtually the same as the issue of any other 
day; but it gradually came to include first of all a 
considerable literary element, and then more and more 
of what would today be known as magazine features; 
so that long before The Sunday Times had departed 
from the daily norm of eight pages it had a char- 
acter which made it a sort of link between the 
weekly edition, by that time passing out of favor, 
and the modern Sunday newspaper with its many 
departments. 

The war brought increased expense, but also in- 
creased circulation. On May 2, 1861, while the war 

^3 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

was still a novelty, The Times made the editorial 
declaration that it had gained 40,000 in circulation 
in the preceding two weeks. It may be noted that 
one of the few lapses of Raymond's paper from the 
standard of dignity which he set was a somewhat 
unworthy controversy with Bennett at the end of 
1 861 about the relative circulation of The Times and 
The Herald. The Times offered to put up a forfeit 
of ^2500 for the families of volunteer soldiers in 
support of its assertion that The Herald's circulation 
did not average more than 100,000, as Bennett as- 
serted, but less than 75,000, and that The Times's 
daily average was more than 75,000. Bennett, 
perhaps from considerations of prudence, responded 
in a manner worthy of Greeley that "the practise of 
betting is immoral; we cannot approve of it." And 
the consequence was the publication on the first page 
of The Times of two caricatures of Bennett — the first 
pictorial illustrations ever carried in the paper. 
Raymond, according to tradition, was afterwards 
ashamed of this, and certainly the paper which he 
published was able to stand on its merits without 
entering into a species of controversy in which The 
Herald was much more experienced. 

At any rate. The Times gained steadily in pros- 
perity throughout the war, and in December of 1865 
took a step which the pressure both of news and 
advertising had long since made advisable — the 
enlargement of its page in both directions. It con- 
tinued for some years thereafter to restrict itself 
to eight pages, but the pages were now seven col- 
umns wide and of the present length. At that time 
it was the largest paper in the United States, and 

64 



CIVIL WAR AND RECONSTRUCTION, 1860-1869 

equal in size to the ordinary edition of The London 
Times. There were pessimistic newspapermen in 
1865 who thought that Raymond and Jones over- 
estimated the possibiHties of their business, and 
that a newspaper of such size could not be sup- 
ported in New York. They soon learned otherwise. 

Shortly after this, however, The Times did suffer a 
serious — though temporary — setback in influence 
and prosperity as a consequence of Raymond's posi- 
tion in politics. Raymond took his seat in Con- 
gress in the special session called in March, 1865. 
The rebellion was visibly coming to an end, and the 
conditions of peace and plans of reconstruction were 
now the topics of greatest importance in pubHc 
life. Throughout the war The Times had been the 
strongest of newspaper opponents of any sort of 
defeatist propaganda or of the influences working 
for a peace by negotiation. It had, to be sure, 
looked with favor on Lincoln's conference with the 
Confederate leaders early in the year, for it knew 
and trusted Lincoln. It knew that Lincoln would, 
as he did, refuse to consider a compromise peace. 
With the volunteer experts in statecraft (of a type 
with which our generation became familiar in the 
winter of 191 7-1 8) who would have made peace 
by some sort of happy magic formula without set- 
tling any of the questions that were being fought 
out, The Times had no sympathy, but it did believe, 
with Grant and Lincoln, that the southerners were 
our own people, citizens of an indestructible union. 
It favored the punishment — at least by exile — of 
the few men whom it regarded as the fomenters of 

65 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

the rebellion; but It regarded the mass of the 
southern people as led astray by its leaders. 

Raymond's views had been expressed in outline 
in the course of a speech at Wilmington, as early 
as November, 1863. In the last months of the war 
they found frequent expression in the columns of 
The Times, On April 13, 1865, for example, The 
Times declared that **if the people lately in revolt 
choose to accept the result of the war Hke reasonable 
men . . . every facility should be accorded them 
for the speedy repossession of every franchise 
and privilege existing under the constitution.'' It 
insisted, to be sure, that we must wait and see if 
they were going to accept the result of the war, 
for at that time JeflFerson Davis was still at large 
and there were die-hards in the South who would 
have taken to the woods for a guerrilla war. But 
these extremists found no support; in a few weeks 
the southern armies had surrendered, the soldiers who 
might have formed guerrilla bands had gone wearily 
back home, and the war was at an end. By that 
time, however, Abraham Lincoln was dead. 

The war against secession had been won, but sup- 
port of the constitutional theory of secession had 
reappeared in the most unlikely quarter, among the 
extreme leaders of the RepubHcan party. Thaddeus 
Stevens, Ben Wade and their colleagues maintained 
that the southern states had accomplished what no 
northerner in 1861 would have admitted as possible 
— that they had cut themselves off from the union. 
Possibly Lincoln, if he had lived, would by his 
great prestige have been able to beat down the oppo- 
sition of these men who, before his death, had re- 

66 




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CIVIL WAR AND RECONSTRUCTION, 1860-1869 

solved to fight him as bitterly as they afterward 
fought Johnson. Whether or not Lincoln could 
have done it, the fight was left in the hands of a 
President whose defects of personal character and 
abiHty brought his principles into discredit; and 
Raymond, who for a long time stood behind John- 
son as he would have stood behind Lincoln, suffered 
for his defense of the ideas which, if carried out, 
would have made reconstruction something more 
than an ironic euphemism. 

Raymond was still chairman of the Republican 
National Committee, a position which gave him 
prestige sufl[icient to overcome, to a certain degree, 
his newness in Congress. Before the end of 1865 
he was actively opposing Stevens and the other 
leaders of the radical Republicans, notably by a 
speech on December 24. But already it was ap- 
parent that the radical control of Congress could 
not be shaken. At a public meeting in New York 
in the following February Raymond undertook to 
defend Johnson for his veto of the Freedman's 
Bureau bill, and laid the blame for the "increase 
of ill-feeling'' in the South during the past few 
months to the action of Congress and to the radical 
Republican press in the North. Raymond favored 
the immediate acceptance of the state governments 
which had been set up in some of the border states, 
and he wanted above all to prevent the reestablish- 
ment of the old sectional antagonism. But the ten- 
dency of the time was too strong for him. 

Nevertheless, he persisted in spite of repeated 
setbacks, and finally took a leading part in the 
"National Union Convention'* which met at Phila- 

67 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

delphia in August, 1866, where for the first time 
since the outbreak of the war men from all the 
states, Repubhcans and Democrats, met to bury the 
hatchet and try to lay down a program for national 
reunion. Raymond had had his suspicions that this 
body might not be of such a character as to com- 
mand the confidence even of the moderate men in 
his party; within four weeks before it met he had 
in a private letter remarked that ''it looks now as 
though it would be mainly in the hands of Copper- 
heads." But evidently he thought, when the con- 
vention actually assembled, either that this fear was 
unwarranted or that his influence might counteract 
the presence of undesirable members from the North. 
At any rate, he composed the "Philadelphia Ad- 
dress" which the convention set before the country, 
declaring that "the results of the war did not either 
enlarge, abridge, or in any way change or affect the 
powers the constitution confers on the Federal gov- 
ernment, or release that government from the re- 
strictions which it has imposed." 

This address and the declaration of principles 
appended was on the whole a piece of reasoning 
on constitutional theory not unworthy of the 
author of the letters to Yancey of i860. It closed 
with an enthusiastic endorsement of Andrew Johnson 
as "a chief magistrate worthy of the nation, 
and equal to the great crisis upon which his lot 
is cast." Even then Raymond was not altogether 
in sympathy with Johnson's course; he supported 
the constitutional amendments which were 
eventually grouped into one (the Fourteenth) 
and thought Johnson unwise in opposing them. 

68 



CIVIL WAR AND RECONSTRUCTION, 1860-1869 

Raymond's only contention was that Congress had 
no right to make acceptance of them a condition 
of the "readmission" of any state lately in revolt. 
He held that the rebellion had been, all along, what 
Union men considered it in the spring of 1861 — 
an insurrection and not a dissolution of partnership. 
But those views were too advanced for the time. 
Secession was accepted as a fact by the dominant 
group in Congress, and under the stress of passion 
constitutional amendments were put through by 
unusual, if not absolutely irregular, methods, estab- 
lishing precedents some of whose harmful effects 
have been seen within recent years. Raymond Vv^as 
at once furiously assailed by the majority of his 
party, and was accused of having gone over to the 
Democrats. He lost his place as chairman of the Na- 
tional Committee for his part in the Philadelphia 
convention, and the paper lost thousands of readers. 
Naturally, his journalistic rivals seized the oppor- 
tunity to try to turn the momentary deviation of 
The Times from the majority opinion to their own 
financial profit. During the war, and before it, The 
Times and The Tribune had been the leading Repub- 
lican papers of the nation. No doubt Raymond 
and Greeley had on the whole the same ideals, as in 
general they upheld the same political principles on 
the great issues of the Civil War period; but their 
reactions differed according to their temperaments. 
Raymond, in the critical months before the war, 
thought that the suspicions of the South might and 
should be alleviated by certain prudent concessions 
from the Republicans, and that Southerners unsym- 
pathetic with secession should not be driven into 

69 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

the arms of the fire-eaters by unconsidered violence; 
but he insisted that the union must be preserved at 
any cost, that there must be no tolerance of seces- 
sion, and that the supremacy of the Federal gov- 
ernment must be vindicated. After war had begun 
he never weakened in the belief that there was no 
choice between complete victory and ruinous dis- 
aster; that peace without victory was peace with 
defeat; that the war must be fought out to the 
complete vindication of the Federal authority. But 
when that result had been accomplished he felt that 
the interests of the nation required the speediest 
possible reestablishment of real national unity. 

Greeley, in the period between Lincoln's elec- 
tion and the attack on Sumter, had oscillated be- 
tween plaintive declarations that "the republic 
could not be pinned together with bayonets'' and 
insistence on immediate and violent coercive meas- 
ures which might have put the government in the 
wrong in the eyes of the border states. When war 
had come Greeley was a pretty good barometer; 
he was an enthusiast when things were going well, 
but after Fredericksburg, and again after Chan- 
cellorsville, he was willing to throw up the sponge; 
and he had that curious conviction that peace might 
be obtained by some backstairs negotiation on neu- 
tral soil and suddenly presented on a platter to a 
surprised nation, which while it endured furnished 
valuable moral support to Lee as it later did to 
LudendorfF. 

But when the republic had been pinned together 
with bayonets, nobody displayed more sanctimonious 
horror than Greeley at Raymond's adventures in 

70 



CIVIL WAR AND RECONSTRUCTION, 1860-1869 

conciliation. The man who was to go Jeff Davis's 
bail in 1867, and accept a Democratic Presidential 
nomination in 1872, in 1866 was accusing Raymond 
of "acting as a Copperhead'* and of betraying the 
party, because he thought that southern Demo- 
crats were still citizens of the United States. The 
man who, in i860, thought the South might as well 
go its way, who early in 1863 was talking of ''bow- 
ing our heads to the inevitable," and was looking 
forward gloomily to "the best attainable peace," 
could in 1866 compare the editor of a competing 
and more prosperous paper to Judas Iscariot for 
standing out against vindictive punishment of the 
South. 

But Greeley cherished no unchristian rancor; 
when Raymond was safely dead, Greeley was mag- 
nanimous enough to write that "he was often mis- 
judged as a trimmer and a time server, when in fact 
he spoke and wrote exactly as he thought and felt." 
It was true; Raymond was called a trimmer; whereas 
Greeley acquired a great reputation as a courageous 
moral leader. The difference seems to have been 
that Greeley took a certain time off each day to 
advertise his morality to the pubHc, whereas Ray- 
mond was too busy reaching conclusions a year or 
so ahead of the times. 

A moral might be drawn from this, but it could 
hardly be commended to ambitious young journaHsts. 

Raymond afterward confessed that it would have 
been worth $100,000 to The Times if he had never 
attended the Philadelphia convention, for great 
numbers of its loyal supporters promptly turned 

71 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

away from a paper which they regarded as having 
gone over to the Copperheads. As it turned out, 
however, if Raymond had Hved a few years longer 
it might have been worth a hundred thousand to 
the paper that he had attended the convention; for 
it had the result of putting him out of politics and 
turning him back to give his whole attention to The 
Times. 

The conservative Republicans among his con- 
stituents (it is perhaps needless to observe that the 
terms "conservative'* and "radical'' had in the 
years just after the Civil War a technical significance 
entirely apart from their ordinary meanings) wanted 
him to try his chances for renomination to Congress, 
but in a letter dated only a month after the Phila- 
delphia convention he refused. He denied that he 
had changed his politics. "With the Democratic 
party as it has been organized and directed since 
the rebellion broke out," he assured his friends, 
"I have nothing in common." But the evils of re- 
newed factional strife which he had attempted to 
avert were already afflicting the country, and Ray- 
mond realized that he could no longer do anything 
to resist them. And he observed that "a seat in 
Congress ceases to have for me any attraction, or to 
offer any opportunity for useful public service." It 
is easy enough to say that Raymond knew he could 
not be renominated; the man's whole history is 
proof that considerations of this sort had nothing 
to do with his decision. 

The last three years of Raymond's life were of 
great importance to his paper. On the chief of the 
new issues following the war he had taken the un- 

72 



CIVIL WAR AND RECONSTRUCTION, 1860-1869 

popular side, and was presently forced to admit that 
he was following an unworthy leader. Johnson's 
personal shortcomings were largely responsible for 
compromising the cause of the moderate reconstruc- 
tionists, but it may be supposed that Raymond's 
personal feeling had perhaps something to do with 
the fact that when The Times finally repudiated him 
it was on the question of paying off the national 
debt with fiat money. The paper opposed the im- 
peachment of Johnson, not so much from love of 
Johnson as from an estimate of the motives, and a 
dislike of the methods, of his enemies. In the cam- 
paign of 1868 the paper was once more able to be 
whole-heartedly Republican, for its editors had a 
great deal of confidence in General Grant and in 
the policies which the party in that year professed. 
But other new questions were arising which were 
to dominate the generation after the war, and on the 
chief of these Raymond set a policy which in gen- 
eral was long followed. As Edward Gary, for nearly 
half a century one of the principal members of the 
editorial staff of The Times, wrote in 191 1: 

Apart from his policy regarding re- 
construction, he had marked out three lines 
of discussion for his paper which were of 
great and lasting importance, and which 
even now . . . that paper follows with 
profound respect for the sound brain and 
loyal heart that set it upon them. 

The first of these was the struggle against various 
forms of easy but unsound money — in the sixties 
and seventies the Greenback movement, and later 
free silver. Its insistence on sound money was at 

73 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

least a minor reason in The Times^s unwillingness 
to see any merit in the Presidential candidacy of 
Tilden, who had given it support in the most spec- 
tacular fight of its history; it drove the paper to 
stand for its principles behind the Gold Democratic 
ticket in 1896; and it was the first ground for a 
disbelief in the miraculous powers of William Jen- 
nings Bryan for which other reasons in sufficiency 
were soon discovered. 

In Raymond's last days, also, the paper began a 
campaign for reform of the tariff, a principle to 
which it has been consistently loyal ever since. 
David A. Wells and Benjamin F. Tracy were called 
in to write special articles on this subject under 
Raymond, and The Times, though beaten in its 
first fight as it has been beaten in many more, began 
in the later sixties a steady campaign for popular 
education on this question which it may be hoped 
has contributed in some degree to the more intelli- 
gent views now prevalent. In spite of the genu- 
flections of the present Republican Congress in the 
house of Rimmon, it is possible to hope that before 
long the protective tariff as the past generation has 
known it will be as dead as greenbackism and free 
silver. 

The third of the policies which Raymond laid 
down for his paper was the fight for the introduc- 
tion of the merit system into the civil service — a 
question on which the paper had sometimes ex- 
pressed itself even in its earliest years, but which 
it took up in earnest after the Civil War. During 
the next two decades The Times was one of the most 
insistent and persistent advocates of a reform which 

74 




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THE FIRST 

TIMES BUILDiNU 

113 Nassau St., 

18ol-1854. 



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tim:es 

BUILDING. 
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SECOND TIMES 

BUILDING, 

1854-1857. 




BRICK PRESBYTERIAN 

CHURCH IN 1840. 

Site of the Old F'ark Row 

Building of The Times. 



FORMER HOMES OF THE NEW YORK TIMES. 



CIVIL WAR AND RECONSTRUCTION, 1860-1869 

finally triumphed, in principle, and which after two 
decades more of obstruction by practical politicians 
of the older sort is now at last beginning to be the 
rule and not the exception in administration. 

It was the enduring faith of The Times in all these 
causes, no less than its conductors' lack of confi- 
dence in a man who seemed to embody stifF-necked 
opposition to most of the needed reforms of his time, 
which finally led the paper to break away from the 
Republican party in 1884. Raymond was always 
a good Republican — best, perhaps, when he was 
most completely out of harmony with the dominant 
group in the party — but there can be no doubt that 
he w^ould have approved of the decision which his 
partner and successor, Jones, had to make in that 
campaign. 

Local issues, too, were becoming insistent in Ray- 
mond's last years. The conduct of the New York 
City government had always been a scandal, vary- 
ing only in degree, but by the later sixties the city 
had fallen into the hands of William M. Tweed and 
the scandal was becoming unendurable. Tweed 
had formed an entente, useful to both parties, with 
the faction of Wall Street manipulators headed by 
Jay Gould and James Fisk, Jr., which was unable 
to see any need for going into the long, laborious 
and expensive process of building railroads when it 
was so much easier to acquire them already built. 
In 1868 The Times carried on a vigorous fight against 
the men who were making the Erie Railroad a name 
notable even in the scandalous chronicle of that 
period, and before Raymond's death there had al- 
ready been threats that some of the political instru- 

75 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

ments of the Wall Street-Tammany Inner circle 
might be used to attack the management of the 
paper. That Raymond, if he had lived, would have 
fought the ring as valiantly as did Jones and Jen- 
nings cannot be doubted; and no greater tribute can 
be given them than the statement that not even 
Raymond could have been more successful. 

The setback caused by Raymond's position In 
1866 did not long affect the fortunes of The Times. 
It was so good a newspaper that people did not 
like to go without it, and its return to the outward 
form at least of party regularity furnished an excuse 
for a good many Republicans to come back to their 
old favorite. Some idea of the position which The 
Times held in the estimation of intelligent men at 
this time can be obtained from ''The Education of 
Henry Adams." Adams had known Raymond in 
Washington before the war, and some of his letters 
to Raymond from London had been published in The 
Times, which thus may perhaps claim to have dis- 
covered him as a writer. Coming back from London 
with an experience which in any other country, as 
he has remarked, would have qualified him admi- 
rably for a post in the diplomatic service, he knew 
that it was hopeless to look for anything of the sort 
at a time when legations, secretaryships and con- 
sulates were ranked with post offices as the reward 
of political merit; so he thought that the best chance 
to use his talents and realize his ambitions was In 
newspaper work. But when Raymond died Adams 
gave up hope; for him it was The Times or nothing. 
He objected to the political views of The Tribune; 
on TheHeraldy aside from other objections, he thought 

76 



CIVIL WAR AND RECONSTRUCTION, 1860-1869 

there was no room for any important personality 
but Bennett; and he disHked the "strong dash of 
blackguardism" which Dana had given The Sun. 
Writing for The Times, Adams could have reached 
a large and influential public; as for any of the 
other papers which his tastes would have permitted 
him to consider, he thought that he might as well 
keep on contributing to The North American Review. 

Whether Adams would have been permanently 
satisfied as a newspaper man may be doubted; his 
case is cited here only as an incidental testimonial 
to The Times' s rapid recovery from the misfortune 
of 1866. Early in 1869 an offer of a million dollars 
was made, and refused, for the property which had 
been established eighteen years before on a cash 
investment of sixty-nine thousand, ^o before Ray- 
mond's death The Times had recovered all the 
ground it had lost even in this department, which 
Raymond himself would undoubtedly have regarded 
as the last and least of a good newspaper's claims 
to eminence. His own material fortunes had risen 
with those of the paper; at his death he owned a 
third of the stock. The salary which had been fixed 
at $2500 a year when The Times was founded had 
been raised to ^4000 in i860. At the beginning of 
1869 this was increased to $10,000 — a huge salary 
for that day — and at the same time an annual salary 
of $9000 was voted to Jones as business manager. 
The Times could afford it; the dividend that year 
was eighty per cent. 

Had Raymond lived, and kept out of politics, the 
paper which under Jones's direction became more 
influential and powerful than ever before, and per- 

77 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

formed at least one public service which must rank 
as one of the greatest ever accomplished by an 
American newspaper, would probably have been 
still more distinguished. For Raymond was only 
forty-nine when he died suddenly on June 19, 1869, 
two months before completing his eighteenth year 
as editor of the paper. Soon after E. L. Godkin, 
who had served under him, wrote in The Nation that 

The Times under his management probably 
came nearer the nev>^spaper of the good time 
coming than any other in existence; in this, 
that it encouraged truthfulness — the repro- 
duction of the facts uncolored by the neces- 
sities of a "cause" or the editor's personal 
feelings — -among reporters; that it carried 
decency, temperance, and moderation into 
discussion, and banished personality from 
it; and thus not only supphed the only 
means by which rational beings can get at 
the truth, but helped to abate the greatest 
nuisance of the age, the coarseness, violence, 
calumny, which does so much to drive sen- 
sible and high-minded men out of public 
life or keep them from entering it. 

Certainly Raymond was almost the inventor of the 
notion that it was possible to believe in a party, to 
belong to a party, and in general to support that 
party without being slavishly bound to its policies, 
right or wrong; and his course in the Civil War 
showed that this independence of sentiment did not 
involve any weakening of energies in upholding the 
truth as he saw it. In Cary's language, he estab- 
lished the corporate conscience of The Times; his 
successors have tried to live up to it. 

78 



CIVIL WAR AND RECONSTRUCTION, 1860-1869 

Yet George Henry Payne, in his ** History of Jour- 
nalism in the United States,'' seems to think it nec- 
essary to account for Raymond's '^ failure," and does 
so by explaining that "a journalist can never succeed 
unless he is fathering popular or moral causes." 
This extraordinary statement deserves notice be- 
cause it appears in the most recent book on a sub- 
ject which has never yet been treated adequately, 
and because Mr. Payne used to be a newspaperman 
himself. Without going into metaphysical defini- 
tions of success, it may suffice to say that from any 
point of view Raymond was a brilliant success as a 
journalist. He was certainly a failure as a politi- 
cian, if failure means the inability to hold the most 
powerful political position to which he rose, the 
chairmanship of the Republican National Commit- 
tee; but even in this sense he was a failure only 
because he happened to die, in the prime of life, 
a few years before the majority came around to his 
view. 

As to Mr. Payne's curious theories on the founda- 
tion of newspaper success, it may be observed that 
The Times, which its worst enemies will admit is suc- 
cessful in the sense that it is widely read, influential 
and prosperous, has never fathered any causes, 
popular or unpopular, moral or immoral; nor have 
some others of the most famous and richest news- 
papers of the world. If ** fathering" was a slip of 
the pen for "furthering," one may wonder what 
"moral causes" James Gordon Bennett the First 
ever promoted. Neither abolition nor Fourieristic 
Socialism could be described as a "popular cause" 
in New York seventy-five years ago, yet Horace 

79 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

Greeley made a paper which advocated one of these 
doctrines, and leaned strongly toward the other, 
successful in every sense of the word. Nor does this 
simple definition meet the case of a newspaper which 
may find prosperity in spite of the furtherance of 
causes which are both moral and unpopular, or in 
furthering those which are both popular and im- 
moral. Whatever may be the secret of journalistic 
success, it can hardly be given away to the world 
as freely as Mr. Payne seems to think. The art of 
making a good newspaper is somewhat more than a 
mere gift for guessing what is going to be popular 
and moral at the same time; and as can be proved 
by the examples of Greeley, Raymond, and Ben- 
nett (to come no nearer our own time) that art 
may be exemplified by men who sometimes guess 
wrong. 



80 



CHAPTER III 

The Times and the Tweed Ring 

nnHE Times had been so emphatically Raymond's 
^ paper that a good many people naturally 
wondered, after his death, what was going to become 
of it. Raymond's partner, George Jones, had long 
been in charge of the business office, and was the 
ranking officer, so to speak, of those who were left. 
But he had had no experience in the supervision of 
editorial poKcy; his life had been spent in the business 
office, and few outsiders realized how thoroughly 
the long friendship and partnership between Ray- 
mond and Jones had indoctrinated each with the 
principles of the other. Nor did Jones have any- 
thing like a controlling interest in the paper. The 
Raymond estate, with thirty-four of the hundred 
shares, was the heaviest stockholder; Jones had or 
controlled, in 1869, about thirty. And since Ray- 
mond's son, then finishing his course at Yale, was 
preparing to learn the newspaper business from the 
ground up, it was the general expectation that in 
time he would succeed his father. 

But The Times could not wait for him. On July 
22, 1869, some five weeks after Raymond's death, 
the three directors of the company — Jones, Leonard 
W. Jerome, and James B. Taylor — elected John 
Bigelow editor. It might have been supposed that 
this was an excellent selection. Bigelow had for 

81 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

years been associated with William Cullen Bryant 
in the editorial direction of The Evening Post, and his 
service as Minister to France had increased his 
reputation and given him an experience in inter- 
national politics which at that particular time was 
extremely valuable. Yet his career as editor of The 
Times lasted only a few weeks, and is interesting 
chiefly as illustrating the fact that in the equipment 
of a newspaper editor the wisdom of the serpent is a 
somewhat more useful quality than the harmlessness 
of the dove. 

The summer of 1869 saw Jay Gould and Jim Fisk 
and their associates going on from the plunder of a 
railroad to the more ambitious scheme of cornering 
the gold supply of a nation in which the resumption 
of specie payments was still something of a millennial 
dream. As is well known, they counted on the 
neutrality of President Grant, who was neither a 
financial expert nor a connoisseur in human wile, 
and whose brother-in-law, Corbin, a friend of the 
Fisk-Gould group, was generally supposed to supply 
most of the financial information for the White 
House. 

Bigelow, who knew the President well, saw him 
early in August, and as a result of the interview 
wrote for The Times two editorial articles on Grant's 
economic policy which were generally understood 
as representing the views of the White House. 
At Gould's suggestion, Corbin prepared another 
editorial article, which a gentleman who was a friend 
of both Corbin and Bigelow succeeded in persuading 
the editor was also a reflection of Grant's opinion. 
This article, headed *' Financial Policy of the Ad- 

82 




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iiii liji'flfti 

iHiiiiiiHiiiiii I Mil:;; 



iii!i-|iill«" 



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II 




THE TIMES AND THE TWEED RING 

ministration, " was published in The Times on August 
25. Luckily Caleb C. Norvell, the financial editor, 
had seen it in proof and had suggested to the sur- 
prised Bigelow that it showed evidence of a purpose 
to "bull gold," presumably in furtherance of the 
enterprise whose beginnings were already visible to 
men in Wall Street. The last paragraph was struck 
out and the article thereby rendered innocuous; but 
the rest of it was published. Less than a month 
later came Black Friday, when Grant shattered 
the final assault of the gold conspirators by opening 
up the Treasury's reserves; and shortly after that 
Bigelow left The Times. 

Jones was justifiably alarmed by this experience, 
and was consequently forced to set himself, at the 
age of fifty-eight, to learn something about the 
editorial management as well as the business affairs 
of the paper. There seems to have been some 
surprise among newspapermen of the time when it 
was discovered that Jones wanted to go on alone. 
Greeley, for example, attempted to buy The Times 
in the summer after Raymond's death. When The 
Tribune was established Greeley had owned it all, 
but he was no financier, and at the time of his death 
retained only one sixteenth of the stock. This 
coincidence of an editor without a newspaper and a 
newspaper without an editor suggested to Greeley 
the idea of buying The Times, which he seems to 
have supposed would be a burden on Jones's hands. 
But Jones replied that he would never sell out "so 
long as he was on top of the sod," so Greeley had 
to stick to The Tribune. 

After Bigelow's retirement the post of editor of The 

83 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

Times, under Jones's supervision, was given to 
George Shepard, who for some time had been one of 
the political editorial writers. In the 1901 Jubilee 
Supplement of The Times Shepard's editorship was 
thus characterized: "The decorum and solid ability 
which had long characterized The Times were per- 
fectly safe in his hands, but sprightliness was un- 
doubtedly lacking." There were those on the 
paper, however, who had perhaps an excess of 
sprightliness, and chief of these was Louis J. Jen- 
nings, a man with a great deal of talent, a great 
deal of temperament, and a character so commingled 
of opposite qualities that one wonders alternately 
why he did not achieve brilliant success, and how 
he managed to get as far as he did. Jennings was 
an Englishman, who had edited The Times of India, 
served as American correspondent of The London 
Times just after the Civil War, and then written 
London correspondence for The New York Times. 
He seems to have had an affection for the name, and 
during Bigelow's brief editorship he had been added 
to the editorial staff of the paper. 

Shortly after Shepard took over the direction of 
the editorial page, on November 25, 1869, there 
was a murder in the Tribune office. Albert D. 
Richardson, one of the stockholders in and contribu- 
tors to that paper, was shot and mortally wounded 
by a gentleman whose wife had left him for a com- 
plex of reasons of which Richardson was one. Mrs. 
McFarland had obtained a divorce in Indiana, her 
husband having been served by publication in local 
papers, and she was married to Richardson on his 
deathbed. Two or three eminent clergymen signal- 

84 



THE TIMES AND THE TWEED RING 

ized their breadth of opinion, if not their literal 
fidehty to the doctrines of their churches, by defend- 
ing the relation as an innocent one and turning 
public sympathy against the injurious husband, if 
indeed it was not running in that direction already. 

This was too much for Jennings's moral principles, 
especially as it had happened in the office of a rival 
newspaper. Despite Shepard's hesitation, Jennings 
succeeded in getting into The Times a number of 
editorials on this case — which indeed was cele- 
brated enough, at the time, to deserve some com- 
ment. Beginning with the innocuous and generally 
acceptable doctrine that newspapermen had no 
special privilege of seduction, he went on to ask 
what else could be expected from those who had 
preached the malignant doctrines of Fourier, de- 
structive of family ties. This must have surprised 
Greeley, who by that time had almost forgotten 
his youthful adventures in Socialism, along with 
other ebullient eccentricities of his earlier years. 
But nothing was clearer to Jennings than that the 
infection imported by Brisbane still befouled the 
Tribune office, and that free love, with its conse- 
quences of murder or suicide, was the natural result 
of taking The Tribune editorial page seriously. 

Jennings had an exceptional talent for stirring 
up the animals. The Tribune presently began to 
retaliate against these editorial attacks by a counter- 
offensive; but Jennings being a recent arrival and 
little known, its editors naturally took for their 
target the respectable Shepard. After a few weeks 
of this Shepard told Jones that Jennings could fight 
his own battles. Shepard retired to his old position 

85 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

as a writer of political articles and Jennings became 
editor of The Thnes. In the great battle against 
Tweed which soon followed Jennings was the leader 
of the offensive. Jones had the responsibility, and 
a heavy responsibility it v^^as; John Foord, who had 
lately joined the editorial staff, handled most of the 
work of analyzing political and financial evidence 
that came into the hands of the paper; and equipped 
with the facts exhumed by Foord, and fortified by 
the knowledge that Jones was standing behind him, 
Jennings put his talent for invective to a somewhat 
more useful employment than annoyance of The 
Tribune, 

It is customary, in discussing the Tw^eed ring, to 
call attention to the gradual and in the long view quite 
considerable improvement in the standard of New 
Y'ork municipal politics. Even in the worst scandals 
of more recent periods the offenders showed a certain 
regard for outward order and decency. City officials 
no longer thrust their arms into the city treasury 
and steal money outright, as Tweed and his associ- 
ates used to do; modern peculations are measured 
by thousands v^^here they stole millions, and the 
unearned increment in the fortunes of certain political 
leaders of today and yesterday can be traced back 
to such diverse and subsidiary transactions as taking 
a percentage from gamblers and prostitutes, or a 
fortunate and extremely silent partnership in con- 
tracting firm.s dealing with the city or with corpora- 
tions dependent for franchises on municipal favor. 

The percentage of honest men in Tammany Hall 
is probably higher now than in the days of Croker, 

86 



THE TIMES AND THE TWEED RING 

certainly higher than in the days of Tweed or Fer- 
nando Wood; and the improvement in public morals 
has affected even the reform movements. They 
are no longer, as they were apt to be in the forties 
and fifties, about as bad as Tammany. They no 
longer can be bought off by judicious distribution 
of offices to their leaders, as sometimes happened 
in the sixties and seventies; nor, in spite of the 
recent declamations of enthusiastic Republican 
leaders, are they as likely to make themselves im- 
potent by divisions and quarreling as they were in 
the eighties and nineties. It is perhaps a matter 
for dispute whether stupidity and incompetence is an 
improvement on venality, but there is no doubt 
that there is a great deal of mere stupidity today 
where in similar conditions even twenty years ago 
there would have been corruption. 

Still, when all allowance is made for these laudable 
tendencies, the dispassionate observer can hardly 
admit that New York would be justified in giving 
three cheers for itself. Nor does the study of 
a century of municipal history tend to make 
converts for the philosophy of Pippa and Polly- 
anna. It is a painful chronicle of alternating 
indignation, apathy, and despair; if it teaches 
anything, it is only the old lesson that the solution 
of political problems is not to be found in changes 
of political machinery. In the last hundred years 
New York has tried about everything. Greater 
measures of home rule have been introduced as a 
desperate remedy, in the hope that centralization of 
responsibility would enable the public to keep 
officials up to the mark; but it was exactly such 

87 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

centralization that made possible the enormous 
steaHngs of Tweed and his confederates. In reaction 
from this the city, or that part of it interested in 
honest government, has from time to time thrown 
itself on the mercy of the legislature, only to find 
presently, not exactly that it has exchanged King 
Log for King Stork, but that between storks the 
one who spends stolen money at home has at least 
some advantage over the one who plunders the 
city for the enrichment of up-state. 

In the period of Tweed's supremacy New York 
had the misfortune of enduring practically all these 
varieties of political experience, and for some years 
each new arrangement proved to be worse than 
what had gone before. The chief accomplishment 
of The Times's exposure of Tweed was the breaking 
of this ascending spiral. Thievery soon began 
again, but on a much humbler scale and with con- 
siderably more caution. And never since has muni- 
cipal corruption been anything like so enormous, 
or so flagrant, as in the period between 1868 and 
1 871. There have been no more Tweeds; but in 
view of the lessons of New York City's history, it 
would be rather venturesome to assert that there 
will never be another Tweed in the future. 

In the fifties and early sixties the dominant figure 
in Tammany Hall was Fernando Wood, but even 
then Tweed was doing pretty well for himself. The 
charter of 1857 had given control of the city's finances 
to an elective bipartisan Board of Supervisors, 
twelve in number, on which Tweed managed to 
obtain a dominant position. Corruption, which had 
always existed in the city government, rapidly 

88 



THE TIMES AND THE TWEED RING 

increased under the benign sway of this virtually 
irremovable body, but the golden days of graft 
began only with the election of 1868, when by whole- 
sale naturalizations at the last minute, the voting of 
cartloads of repeaters, stuffing of the ballot boxes, 
and other devices now happily gone out of fashion, 
Tammany elected John T. Hoffman governor of 
the state and A. Oakey Hall mayor of the city. 
The legislature was also Democratic by a very slight 
majority; but the precarious margin could be, and 
on occasion was, enlarged by the purchase of any 
necessary number of upstate Republicans. Tweed 
came into control of both state and city governments 
on January i, 1869; his domination was ended in 
the fall of 1 871. It is a tribute both to his ingenuity 
and to the largeness of his view that estimates of 
the amount which he and his associates stole in that 
brief period range from fifty million to a hundred 
million dollars. , 

To remove the possibility of inconvenient inquiry 
into his doings Tweed put through the legislature 
in 1870 — with the aid of purchased Republican 
votes — a new city charter. In its preliminary 
advertising it was proclaimed as a home rule measure; 
on that understanding it got a good deal of respect- 
able support; even The Times y disgusted with the 
conditions that had arisen under the prevalent 
system, in the beginning favored the measure. But 
it presently turned out that the document was full 
of jokers, and that its real effect, as John Foord 
has put it, was to turn the city over to the control 
of four men — the Mayor, Hall; the president of 
the Board of Supervisors, Tweed; the Controller, 

89 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

Richard B. Connolly; and the president of the Park 
Board, Peter B. Sweeney. Heads of departments 
were appointed by the Mayor, for terms of four or 
eight years, and during their terms were practically 
irremovable. This alone would have been enough 
for moderate men; but for good measure a provision 
was thrown in that all claims against the County 
of New York incurred previous to the passage of the 
act should be audited by Hall, Tweed, and Connolly, 
and met by revenue bonds payable during 1871. 

This board met only once, and then voted that all 
claims certified by the Board of Supervisors to the 
County Auditor and presented by him to the Board 
of Audit should be authorized. In other words, 
Tweed sent his bills to the Auditor — James Watson, 
one of his own creatures — and this functionary 
passed them on to the Board of Audit to receive a 
blanket endorsement — from Tweed. In this man- 
ner some six million dollars was "audited," mainly 
in connection with work done, or alleged to have 
been done, on the construction, equipment and 
repair of the County Court House. Some of the 
claims were purely fictitious; the others were all set 
down at far more than the real value of the work; 
and of it all Tweed and certain of his associates 
received 65 per cent at first, and eventually 85 
per cent. 

This was the most scandalous and the most easily 
visible of the multitudinous thefts promoted by 
Tweed. Others were of the familiar sort — fraudu- 
lent contracts, payrolls padded with the names of 
dead men, of babes in arms, or of Tammany ward 
heelers who had to be supported but did not want 

90 




CHARLES R. MILLER, 

Editor-in-Chief. 



THE TIMES AND THE TWEED RING 

to soil their hands with work except on election 
day; appropriations for the support of non-existent 
institutions, huge payments to companies in which 
Tweed or his friends had an interest. But the 
suspicions which were inevitably aroused by such 
enormous and ubiquitous peculations were slow 
in taking definite form. Ostensibly, Tweed was 
saving money for the city. He reduced the tax 
rate in 1871, and thereby won the gratitude of tax- 
payers who had become alarmed at the rapid and 
unaccountable increase in municipal expenses. Just 
how much the city was spending or how much it 
owed nobody knew, but it was evidently a great 
deal. Tweed's sudden show of economy had its 
eflPect in winning support for him among the property- 
owning classes, and though their suspicions were not 
killed by any means, a good many respectable and 
prosperous citizens had become so discouraged with 
municipal politics, so wiUing to grasp at any straw 
of hope, that they were pleased to adopt the policy 
of the ostrich, and try to pretend that they believed 
public affairs were being honestly conducted, instead 
of undertaking the difficult and dangerous process 
of attempting to find out. 

As a matter of fact, Tweed had reduced the tax 
rate by the very simple process of abandoning the 
pay-as-you-go plan of municipal finance, and meet- 
ing most of the claims which he and his friends 
presented to the city — together with the com- 
paratively infrequent bills from honest creditors — 
by the issue of thirty-year bonds; while so far as 
possible the demands were met by short-term ob- 
ligations not funded at all. In a city containing 

91 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

as many competent financiers as New York there 
were a good many men who saw through this, but 
none who dared to speak out. The man who did 
dare to speak was George Jones, and under his 
direction The Times began in September, 1870, a 
campaign which resulted, after fourteen months, 
in the complete overthrow of Tweed. 

That The Times did not begin its attack sooner 
may perhaps be ascribed to the influence of James 
B. Taylor, who was one of the three directors of the 
paper, and one of Tweed's four partners in the 
New York Printing Company. The history of this 
organization would alone furnish valuable matter 
for reflection to political reformers, and some useful 
hints to thieving politicians; but for the purposes of 
this narrative it is enough to say that before the 
exposure of the ring it had received some millions 
of public money for very slight services, and that 
Tweed's far-ranging plans looked to making it the 
sole agency for the printing not only of the city, 
but of the state and eventually of the nation. 

Taylor had been a stockholder in The Times since 
April, 1 861, and his associates evidently had a good 
opinion of him, since though he held only one tenth 
of the stock he was elected to Raymond's place on 
the directorate. But that he would have been able 
to hold back the paper forever from its assault on the 
ring is a quite untenable supposition, in view of the 
character of George Jones. Taylor died early in 
September, 1870, and The Times' s campaign began 
soon after; but for the first few months the paper 
had nothing to go on but its suspicions, and Taylor's 
objections could well have been, and presumably 

92 



THE TIMES AND THE TWEED RING 

were, based on the risk of commencing an attack 
on the most formidable and best intrenched group 
of political conspirators the country had ever known 
without conclusive evidence. 

It would be agreeable to suppose that similar 
considerations of prudence were alone responsible 
for the fact that the other daihes of the city were at 
best neutral in the fight, while most of them actually 
supported Tweed until his guilt was proved beyond 
any question; but the record shows otherwise. 
There was a reason why The Times had to fight 
single-handed, except for the support of Harper s 
Weekly y which in Nast's cartoons had a weapon even 
more powerful than Jennings's vituperation. Enor- 
mous sums were being spent for municipal advertis- 
ing, most of which was quite unnecessary. A good 
deal of it went to obscure publications either existing 
solely for the purpose of printing public advertise- 
ments, or chiefly maintained by that source of 
revenue, and owned by various members of the ring; 
but much of it went to the regular newspapers of the 
city, and cannot be called anything but a hush fund. 

For a while The Times received its share of this 
advertising, which was rejected when it became 
apparent that it was a hush fund. But Tweed and 
his subordinates had been wise enough to see that 
the city was always pretty well in arrears of pay- 
ment; when The Times refused to accept further city 
advertising, the city refused to pay its bill. The 
Times went to court and got a judgment, but the 
litigation furnished an excuse by which Mayor Hall 
tried — though unsuccessfully — to explain the '' ani- 
mus" which the paper eventually displayed by 

93 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

telling the truth about the city government. In the 
meantime the account refused by The Times was 
turned over to The Tribune, which for some time 
showed a reluctance to believe, or to publish, any- 
thing reflecting on Tweed. In view of the fact that 
Tweed was at that time the boss of the Democratic 
party not only in the city but in the state, and was 
becoming dangerously powerful in his influence on the 
national leaders of the party, this is an instance of 
magnanimity toward a political enemy quite without 
parallel in the history of the period. 

The hush fund did its work. When the other 
papers said anything about Tweed, it was in his 
defense. The Sun, to be sure, did make the ironic 
proposal of a monument to the ** benefactor of the 
people," the fund to be started by a contribution 
of ten cents which The Sun professed to have received 
from one of Tweed's admirers. Tweed indeed sus- 
pected that Dana was not altogether in earnest, and 
for this and other reasons refused to accept any such 
testimonial; but a good many of The Suns readers, 
as well as some historians of later days, took the 
suggestion seriously. 

The attack was begun by the most obvious method, 
and the one most readily available in view of the 
lack of any definite evidence. The Times called 
the attention of its readers to Tweed's sudden and 
enormous wealth, and asked where he had got it. 
Again and again the paper called on the respectable 
leaders of the Democratic party to disown their 
associate; but just then that would have been some- 
what difficult. Tweed could have disowned them 
and remained a Democrat, but they could hardly 

94 



THE TIMES AND THE TWEED RING 

disown the man who had carried the state for the 
presidential ticket in 1868, and who was still in 
absolute control of the state organization, without 
finding themselves out in the cold. 

Then The Times began to ask for a little informa- 
tion about the city's finances. For a year and a 
half no statement of them had been published. It 
was presumed that the Controller, Connolly, was 
still keeping books, but they were locked away as 
carefully as the golden plates of the Book of Mormon, 
despite a law which prescribed that they should be 
open to the pubhc. For two months the campaign 
was carried on with all the vigor of which Jennings 
was capable, but apparently it had little effect. In 
the fall of 1870 the reform ticket — supported by 
Republicans, independents, and those Democrats 
who had turned against Tweed either on principle, 
or because they had been excluded from the profits 
that were reserved for the favorites of the inner 
circle — was beaten by a handsome majority. There 
was a good deal of reason to suppose that Governor 
Hoffman and Mayor Hall owed their reelection 
largely to Tweed's foresight in buying up a good 
many of the RepubHcan election inspectors; but 
whatever the reason, they were reelected. 

But The Times and Harper s Weekly kept on 
fighting. They kept on despite the discouragement 
of the election, the evidence that only a minority 
of New Yorkers took any interest in the continuous 
and enormous thefts of their own money; despite 
the opposition of all the other papers, which imputed 
motives to The Times running all the way down 
from partisan malice against the Democratic leader, 

95 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

and vindictive efforts to force the payment of the 
overdue advertising bill, to accusations that the 
editors of the paper had been bought. In view 
of the fact that Tweed and his friends could, and 
eventually did, offer a good deal more for The Times' s 
silence than could conceivably be bid by anybody 
for its continuance of the attacks, this was not a very 
plausible accusation; but it was often repeated and 
doubtless believed by a good many who had their 
own reasons for clinging to their faith in Tweed. 

A great many worthy citizens thought that The 
Times was unreasonable and vindictive. There 
was heard the complaint, since become painfully 
familiar, that criticisms of the administration were 
injuring the good name and the credit of the city, 
and that it was the duty of all good citizens to boost 
New York — and its officials. Even the reformers 
of the period were silent. The Citizens' Association 
had lately been formed for the promotion of higher 
standards of municipal government. It was or- 
ganized and intended for reform; it began as a 
representative of public-spirited taxpayers, and its 
president was Peter Cooper. But its secretary 
was soon won over by the gift of a municipal office; 
and Peter Cooper presently allowed himself to be 
convinced that Tweed and his friends had stolen 
as much as they could use, and that hereafter it would 
be to their interest to turn conservative and save 
money for the taxpayer. 

If this happened to the chief reform organization 
of the period, it may be surmised how easily Tweed 
flattered, bribed or terrorized other respectable 
citizens into giving him at least tacit support. It was 

96 



THE TIMES AND THE TWEED RING 

dangerous to oppose him — particularly dangerous 
for rich men, since Tweed controlled the assessments 
for taxation and could raise them to any figure that 
suited him if property owners gave him cause for 
hostility. And undoubtedly a good many men kept 
still out of sheer apathy — the apathy begotten of 
long experience with city governments each of 
which was more corrupt than its predecessor, and the 
conviction that even if good citizens got together 
they would probably be beaten up at the polls by 
Tammany thugs, or counted out by Tammany 
election inspectors. 

The most amazing instance of Tweed's ability 
to mobilize the respectability of the city in his sup- 
port is the famous audit of the Controller's books 
in the fall of 1870. The Times had been calling 
on Connolly to let the citizens know how much the 
city was spending, and what it owed. In October 
Connolly suddenly announced that he would do 
so, and would submit his books to the inspection of 
six of the most distinguished and reputable business 
men of New York — Moses Taylor, E. D. Brown, 
John Jacob Astor, George K. Sistare, Edward Schell, 
and Marshall O. Roberts. Their report was pub- 
Hshed on November i — just before the election — 
and undoubtedly gave to many good citizens a 
plausible pacifier for the disturbed conscience. For 
the committee reported that "the account books 
of the department are faithfully kept. ... We 
have come to the conclusion and certify that the 
financial affairs of the city, under the charge of the 
Controller, are administered in a correct and faithful 
manner." 

97 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

As Foord observes in his "Life of Andrew H. 
Green": 

These names represent the foremost finan- 
cial interests of their time, and no group 
of men could have been selected more likely 
to command the confidence of the people of 
New York. Yet, at the very time they 
certified to the correctness of the Con- 
troller's books, those records contained the 
evidence of direct thefts amounting to about 
twelve million dollars, while the testimony 
they bore to indirect stealing was equivalent 
to many millions more. 

Connolly's books, indeed, were *' correct." They 
showed that thus much money had been paid to 
such and such persons for this and that. When 
The Times later published these records it was at 
once observed that payments of several hundred 
thousand dollars to individual carpenters or painters 
for a month's work seemed somewhat unusual, 
and that it was curious that three or four men had 
endorsed all the receipts, no matter in whose names 
the claims stood; but nothing of the sort seems to 
have occurred to the six respectable citizens. 

Their report, however, was convincing enough 
to those who wanted to be convinced; but Tweed 
discovered that there was one man in New York 
who could not be bought off or scared off. The 
Times continued the fight. Tweed did everything 
he could to fight back. Two years before, when the 
paper was fighting the Erie Railroad conspirators, 
a Tweed-Fisk judge had suggested to the grand jury 
that it had better indict Raymond and Jones; but 
the grand jury did not take the advice. Now a new 

98 



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THE TIMES AND THE TWEED RING 

course was adopted; Tweed tried to amend the 
criminal code so as to give to judges — of whom he 
had several in his pocket — greatly increased latitude 
in deciding what was contempt of court. When 
this attempt failed Tweed's agents started the story 
that the land on which the Times Building was 
situated, and which had been occupied before by the 
Brick Presbyterian Church, had been sold under a 
restriction binding it for all time to church uses. 
The effort to eject the paper from its home also 
came to nothing, but it gave Jones a good deal of 
worry for some time. 

Worse still, he had not only enemies without but 
some lukewarm supporters in his own camp. Ray- 
mond had been dead less than a year and a half, 
but already his family wanted to get rid of their stock 
in The Times. The interest of the Taylor estate 
could hardly be counted as hostile to Tweed, and 
merchants afraid of the ring had begun to withdraw 
their advertising from the paper, which was con- 
tinuing its fight in spite of the testimony of New 
York's most reputable business men that the city 
finances were ** administered in a correct and faithful 
manner." As a matter of fact the decline in the 
paper's income was not large, but it was exaggerated 
by rumor, and Tweed might hope that some of the 
stockholders would begin to put pressure on Jones. 

It was evidently in the conviction that Jones 
either would be willing or would be compelled to 
withdraw from a losing fight that Tweed formed, 
early in 1871, a company to buy the control of The 
Times — one of the most curiously assorted com- 
panies that was ever brought together for publishing 

99 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

a newspaper, or for anything else. The science and 
art of politics were represented by Tweed, Oakey 
Hall, and Sweeney; finance high and low by Fisk, 
Gould, and Cyrus W. Field; and the necessary 
flavoring of probity and rectitude was provided by 
Peter Cooper and Moses Taylor. Just what these 
gentlemen would have done with a newspaper if 
they had had it would be hard to say, but one thing 
they would certainly have done — they would have 
silenced the only journalistic critic of the ring. It 
may be that sooner or later thievery on such a grand 
scale would have been exposed and defeated, but 
there is no certainty that anything but death would 
have interrupted Tweed's activities. And, as it 
happened, the final exposure by The Times came 
just as the ring was preparing a new scheme, the 
Viaduct Railroad, which was to begin with a theft 
of five million dollars and might have gone ten 
times farther before it was finished. Perhaps if The 
Times had been put out of the way a champion 
would have been raised up in the course of time, but 
no candidates for the position were visible in 1871. 
And even two or three years more might have enabled 
Tweed to do as much damage to New York as could 
be accomplished by anything but an earthquake and 
tidal wave. 

All this was plain enough to George Jones, and he 
refused to sell. And since rumors that The Times 
was to be bought and put out of the way had been 
widely circulated, he pubhshed in the paper, on 
March 29, 1871, a statement over his signature 
which disposed of Tweed's hopes in that direction 
for all time. 

100 



THE TIMES AND THE TWEED RING 

No money that could be offered me [he 
wrote] should induce me to dispose of a 
single share of my property to the Tammany 
faction, or to any man associated with it, 
or indeed to any person or party whatever 
until this struggle is fought out. I have 
the same confidence in the integrity and 
firmness of my fellow proprietors. 

Rather than prove false to the public in the 
present crisis, I would if the necessity by 
any possibility arose immediately start an- 
other journal to denounce those frauds upon 
the people which are so great a scandal to 
the city, and I should carry with me in 
this renewal of our present labors the 
colleagues who have already stood by me 
through a long and arduous contest. 

After that The Times continued with redoubled 
vigor, but without much more success until well 
in the summer. A new reform organization was 
established. It held a mass meeting in Cooper Union, 
it commented upon the fact that the city debt had 
gone up something like a hundred million dollars 
in two years; but the masses remained unaffected, 
proof of what everybody believed was not forth- 
coming, and Tweed and his friends looked forward 
with confidence to the time when, having stolen 
everything in New York that was not tied down, 
they could go on to Albany and Washington. 

For the benefit of those who believe that the right 
is sure to triumph in the end it may be observed 
that the actual exposure of Tweed was due to an 
accident — the overturn of a sleigh in which the 
County Auditor, one of Tweed's most useful sub- 

lOI 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

ordinates, was riding. This was in December, 1870; 
the Auditor died of his injuries some weeks later 
and was replaced by the County Bookkeeper, and 
into the Bookkeeper's office went Matthew J. 
0*Rourke, a political follower of James O'Brien 
in a Democratic faction on bad terms with Tweed. 
Whether the actual discovery of the thefts should be 
credited to O'Rourke himself, or to one Copeland, an 
accountant in his office, is somewhat doubtful; 
but at any rate there was an investigation of some 
of the claims which proved at once what ought to 
have been evident even from the most superficial 
inspection, that millions were being stolen. The 
evidence gathered in O'Rourke's office and later 
published in The Times showed that six million 
dollars had been spent for repairs on the county 
courthouse (payment being authorized by Mayor 
Hall and Controller Connolly), of which ninety 
per cent was pure graft, and that there had been 
frauds of almost equal magnitude in the renting and 
furnishing of armories. This was a dangerously 
large matter — too large for minor officials to 
handle; but the discoveries were promptly reported 
to O'Brien. In the somewhat discouraging history 
of that period, when high officers of city, state and 
federal governments regarded their positions as 
nothing more than opportunities for grand larceny, 
it is pleasant to come upon this instance of obscure 
public servants, receiving modest salaries, who 
apparently out of no other motive than a sense of 
fidelity to their trust gave away information which 
Tweed would undoubtedly have paid them a million 
dollars to conceal. 

102 



THE TIMES AND THE TWEED RING 

O'Brien now had the facts, but it was something 
of a question what he could do with them. Eventu- 
ally he gave them to The Times, but The Times was 
not his first choice. The transcript of Connolly's 
books was the biggest exclusive local story ever 
offered to a New York newspaper; but it was offered 
to one newspaper which refused it. Then, reahzmg 
that nobody else would take it, he gave it to The 
Times, but at first would not give his consent to its 
publication. Knowledge of the facts fortified The 
Times in its denunciation of the report of the six 
respectable citizens, and eventually O'Brien's reluc- 
tance disappeared. 

By the time he gave his consent for the publi- 
cation of the evidence Tweed had found out what 
was going on. He had failed to scare Jones out 
or to freeze him out; now there remained but 
one recourse, to try to buy him. One afternoon 
in the early summer of 1871 a lawyer with whom 
Jones was on friendly terms asked the pubhsher to 
come to his office for a business consultation. 
When Jones entered he found to his surprise that 
only one man-^ was in ■ the room — Controller Con- 
nolly; and Connolly promptly came to the point 
and oflFered Jones five million dollars to suppress 

the news. 

"I don't think," Jones remarked, *'that the devil 
will ever bid higher for me than that." Connolly 
seems to have taken this as encouragement, for he at 
once added: ''Think of what you could do with 
five million dollars! Why, you could go to Europe 
and live like a prince." 

Thereupon Jones made his refusal unmistakable, 
103 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

and Connolly went away sorrowing, for he had great 
possessions. 

But before entering on a fight which with the 
publication of the evidence would become a death 
struggle Jones felt it desirable to make his own 
position somewhat safer. The Raymond family 
still wanted to sell its stock. Undoubtedly that 
stock could have been sold to Tweed, and the fact 
that it was not, directly or indirectly, is proof enough 
that though the Raymonds were getting out of The 
Times they were still loyal to its interests. But 
Jones was afraid that somehow Tweed would get 
control of this stock; and while it would not give 
him a dominating influence on the paper, it would 
enable him, by alleging that the interests of the 
stockholders were being injured by the campaign, 
to start litigation which could have given one of 
Tweed's pocket judges an excuse for appointing a 
receiver. Jones had to make sure that the Raymond 
share could be counted on the right side; and he 
found invaluable support in E. B. Morgan of Aurora, 
N. Y., who had owned two shares of stock when The 
Times was founded, had aided in the financing of 
the building project, and had recently taken a more 
vigorous interest not only in his property but in the 
fight which Jones was making against Tweed. On 
July 8 The Times published a long digest of some of 
its evidence relating to frauds in the rental of armo- 
ries, and in the succeeding days there were repeated 
editorial attacks on the ring and promises of greater 
exposures to come. But Jones was not ready to go 
on till he had fortified his position, and that was 
soon done. On July 19 the editorial page of The 

104 



THE TIMES AND THE TWEED RING 

Times began with a short statement to the effect 
that the thirty-four shares of Times stock held by 
the Raymond estate had been purchased by Morgan, 
who would thereafter be associated with Jones m 
the management of the paper. The statement 
continued : 

It has been repeatedly asserted that the 
Raymond shares were likely to fall into the 
possession of the New York ring, and it is in 
order to assure our friends of the groundless- 
ness of all such statements that we make 
known the actual facts. The price paid in 
ready money for the shares in question was 
$375,000. Down to the time of Mr. Ray- 
mond's death the shares had never sold for 
more than $6000 each. Mr. Morgan has now 
paid upward of $11,000 each for 34 of them, 
and this transaction is the most conclusive 
answer which could be furnished to the 
absurd rumors sometimes circulated to the 
effect that the course taken by The New York 
Times toward the Tammany leaders had 
depreciated the value of the property. 

Immediately following this was a double-leaded 
editorial headed "Two Thieves," in which Jennings 
threw his hat into the air with a loud and joyous 
whoop and declared that evidence which The Times 
was about to publish would prove that at least two 
of the four leaders of the ring were criminals. Of 
these gentlemen, one eventually escaped conviction 
by flight to Europe and the other by grace of a hung 
jury; that both were what Jennings called them 
nobody has ever seriously doubted. 

The next day The Times pubUshed another long 
lOS 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

analysis of some of its evidence, this time relating 
to the furnishing of armories. This article, like its 
predecessor, was written by John Foord, and v/as 
accompanied by a fiery editorial by Jennings. And 
on the 22d The Times opened up with all its bat- 
teries. When it came to the evidence afforded by 
the Controller's books as to the money spent (os- 
tensibly) on the new court house, the figures them- 
selves spoke more forcibly than any summary or 
any comment — those very figures which had 
been audited and approved by the six respect- 
able citizens. The previous articles had been pub- 
lished on the editorial page, running over into the 
page opposite; and even on the 2ist the front page of 
The Times had begun, in the usual style, with a 
single-column head, "General News." 

But on the 22d The Times published a chapter 
of figures from the Controller's books on the front 
page, in broad measure, and under a three-column 
head. So far as can be ascertained this was the 
first time a real display heading had ever appeared 
in The Times, but the editors felt apparently that 
the facts they had to set before the public deserved 
the aid of all the resources of the typography of the 
period. Jennings's editorial accompanying the first 
chapter of the accounts also employed full-face type 
for emphasizing some of the figures, and the small 
capitals in which then as now the names of individuals 
appeared in editorials were also used for some of 
Jennings's epithets, such as scoundrels, swin- 
dlers, THIEVES and other terms which he 
evidently felt were synonymous with some of the 
personal names mentioned. 

io6 







THE FOURTH TIMES BUILDING, 
PARK ROW, 

1888-1905. 



THE TIMES AND THE TWEED RING 

That editorial demanded immediate criminal 
prosecution of some of the city officials, and it con- 
tained the observation, fully justified by the condi- 
tions of the time, that "if the public does not come 
to the same conclusion before we have finished our 
extracts from the Controller's books, then facts 
have lost their power to convince, and public spirit 
must be regarded as dead." 

The facts were convincing enough. It appeared, 
for example, that for carpets in the courthouse 
enough money had been paid out to cover City 
Hall Park three times over with the finest carpet 
that could be bought in New York. A single car- 
penter, according to the books, had received more 
than $360,000 within a month for his work in repair- 
ing a courthouse which was not yet finished. Of course, 
the carpenter never got it. Whatever the name in 
which the bill was made out — and the assurance 
of the ring may be gauged by the fact that one of 
the city's creditors was put down as "Philip F. 
Dummey" — the checks given in payment were 
indorsed by members of a few firms in which Tweed 
and some of his accomplices were partners. Al- 
together, the Controller's books fully supported The 
Times^s editorial assertion that a man v/ho had a 
bill of $5000 against the city for work honestly 
done could not get it paid until he raised it to $55,000, 
with the balance going by one means or another to 
Tweed and his friends. 

Readers of The Times were allowed one day to 
think over the first chapter from Connolly's books, 
and on the 24th another followed. There was 
still another before the end of the week, and on 

107 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

Saturday the 29th all the evidence, with some 
editorial comment, was put into a special four-page 
supplement. This document was printed in both 
English and German; for the German-Americans 
at that time were a much more distinct racial group 
than at present, and one which furnished valuable 
aid to municipal reform. But, for various motives 
of which partisanship was the most worthy, the 
German-American press had hitherto given its 
support to Tweed; so The Times let the Germans 
read the evidence in their own language. 

It had been announced beforehand that two hun- 
dred thousand copies of that supplement would be 
issued — a wholly unprecedented edition for a New 
York paper in those days. As a matter of fact the 
edition ran to 220,000, and a few hours after the 
presses had stopped it became apparent that this 
had not begun to meet the demand. The presses 
started again, and for a whole week were run con- 
tinuously, except when getting out the regular 
issues of The Times, in printing the famous supple- 
ment. Altogether more than half a million copies 
were issued. The people of New York now had the 
proof; it remained to be seen if they were capable of 
defending themselves. 

At first the ring was confident enough. Tweed's 
famous comment, '*Well, what are you going to 
do about it?" epitomized their reaction to the ex- 
posure. Mayor Hall seemed to think that he could 
meet the accusations by declaring that the papers 
were "surreptitiously obtained from a dishonest 
servant," and it says a good deal for the standards 
of the time that the charge of dishonesty against 

108 



THE TIMES AND THE TWEED RING 

the man who had exposed the theft of millions by 
city officials was seriously received by a large part 
of the public. Hall further remarked that the 
animus of The Times could be found in the delayed 
payment for the advertising contract already men- 
tioned. Neither he nor anybody else made other 
reference to the story told by the figures than an 
occasional remark about "alleged records" or "garbled 
accounts." 

All over the country the revelations made by The 
Times were the chief topic of news, and of editorial 
comment. Only in New York City did the news- 
papers appear to know nothing about it. Greeley, 
to be sure, who belatedly remembered that he was not 
only a moral man but a RepubHcan, ventured to 
suggest that Tweed and his associates might sue 
The Times for libel, a procedure which The Times 
earnestly invited; but the other papers did not even 
by this much dignify the disclosures with any com- 
ment that might be twisted into an admission that 
they amounted to anything. The papers of London 
and Paris published long editorial comments on 
New York politics, but the New York papers seemed 
to see in them only what Mayor Hall called them, 
"the gross attacks of a partisan journal upon the 
credit of the city." 

Nevertheless, the public, or a part of it, was 
awakened. The claims, it will be remembered, 
which were authorized by the Board of Audit 
and which, it was now apparent, contained anywhere 
from sixty to a hundred per cent of pure graft 
were to be met by the issuance of revenue bonds 
payable during the year. For two years there had 

109 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

been no statement of city finances. As Foord 
writes, ** Nobody save the men in power and those 
in their immediate confidence knew at what figure 
city bonds were being negotiated, or at what rate 
the debt was increasing/' The first consequence 
of the revelations was the sudden and very natural 
refusal of bankers to lend any more money to an 
administration which was getting no one knew how 
much, but pretty certainly was stealing most of 
what it got. And there, for some weeks, matters 
rested. Public indignation was steadily rising as The 
Times brought out more evidence; most of the tax 
money had been spent, and the city could no longer 
borrow money; municipal employes were not 
getting their pay. Already the summer of 1871 
had seen one serious riot, when several hundred 
members of an Irish mob which had attacked the 
Orangemen's parade had been shot down by militia, 
and it seemed that this might be only a beginning. 
Now mobs of unpaid laborers gathered every day 
in City Hall Park; and Tweed and his friends, with 
the aid of his newspaper supporters, were trying with 
some success to transfer the blame for the shortage 
of city money from the thieves to the reformers 
who had exposed the thefts. And while there was 
not much money left in the city treasury, there was 
no guarantee that Tweed and his friends would not 
steal what little had escaped them. For they 
calmly refused to resign, and under the Tweed 
charter they could not be removed. 

On September 4 there was a mass meeting of 
citizens in Cooper Union, with former Mayor William 
F. Havemeyer presiding, and a committee of seventy 

no 



THE TIMES AND THE TWEED RING 

was appointed to investigate the frauds and prosecute 
the criminals. But Tweed and his friends were not 
asleep; immediately after this meeting there was a 
"robbery" in the Controller's office. The vouchers 
which would have furnished evidence that no jury 
could have disregarded were taken out of the glass 
case which had been thought sufficient to protect 
them, and it was later found that they had been 
removed, and burned, by a Tweed official. Some- 
thing desperate had to be done, and John Foley, 
a prominent figure in reform movements of the time, 
did it. Bringing suit as a taxpayer, he got an injunc- 
tion on September 14 restraining the Controller 
from paying out any more mone^^ on claims against 
the city. 

This meant that not only the fraudulent claims 
could not be paid, but the honest claims of contractors, 
the wages of laborers, even the wages of the police. 
If the four chief conspirators had had the courage 
to hang on and wait for the inevitable riots, it is 
possible that they could have escaped with no other 
punishment than the compulsion to be a little more 
moderate thereafter; for the rioters would un- 
doubtedly have turned their attention to The Times 
and the reformers before going on to the more 
profitable investigation of the stores of Broadway 
and the residences of Fifth Avenue, leaving the 
homes of Tweed and his friends untouched under 
their guards of *' shoulder hitters.'' But luckily 
the conspirators lost their nerve, and then came one 
more proof of the famihar fact that the principal 
advantage of the forces of law over the criminal 
classes lies in the absence of honor among thieves. 

Ill 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

The Mayor suggested to Controller Connolly that 
inasmuch as his administration had been somewhat 
discredited by the voucher theft, he had better 
resign. Connolly rightly thought that resignation 
just then would be taken as confession, and he also 
concluded that Tw^eed, Hall and Sweeney had de- 
cided that somebody would have to be thrown to 
the wolves. Being in some perplexity, he asked 
the advice of Samuel J. Tilden and William F. 
Havemeyer, with whom he had been associated 
in the more respectable activities of the Democratic 
party; and they promptly told him that he had 
better appoint Andrew H. Green as Deputy Con- 
troller and turn over the office to him. There were 
few men in the city who knew more than Green 
about the city government, and none who was more 
certainly above suspicion. Connolly took the ad- 
vice, and Green's appointment on September i6 
marked the beginning of the end of the Tweed ring. 

In the second phase of the fight The Times had 
more assistance, for reform was beginning to become 
not only fairly safe, but somewhat popular. But 
it was also less spectacular, and Green's tenure of 
office took the form of a long trench war against all 
forms of corruption, intimidation, and chicanery. 
The Mayor at first refused to recognize the appoint- 
ment, and then tried to turn him out; the office had 
to be guarded by armed men. Under the injunction 
the Deputy Controller could pay out no city money, 
and the funds left in the treasury were not sufficient 
to meet the interest on city bonds which would be 
due in six weeks. While valid claims were being 

112 



THE TIMES AND THE TWEED RING 

sorted out from the mass of fraudulent charges no 
pay rolls could be met, and the danger of riot dis- 
appeared only very slowly and gradually. Before 
it disappeared The Star, a paper which had received 
a good deal of money from the ring, published the 
home addresses of Jennings and Jones, with a hardly 
veiled suggestion to city employes whose families 
were starving that these men were responsible for 
the stoppage of wages. When The Times made 
some comments on this The Star had the hardihood 
to declare that not The Star but The Times was 
inciting to riot — by trying to prevent Tweed and 
his friends from collecting what little was left. 

Not all the new^spapers of the city attempted to 
stir up riots, but virtually all of them were hostile 
to Green's administration of the city finances. The 
reason was simple enough; among the bills which he 
refused to pay until their validity had been certified 
were those for newspaper advertising. In conse- 
quence of this the man who actually put a stop to 
the thefts and brought the city finances into as near 
order as was possible after two years of wholesale 
brigandage — who had borrov>^ed money on the 
strength of his own reputation for integrity to meet 
immediate and unavoidable obligations, at a time 
when he had no legal authority to make commit- 
ments in the name of the city — who eventually 
saw that all honest creditors got their money, and 
that as little as possible was paid out for suspicious 
claims, had to fight through the greater part of his 
term of office with practically no newspaper support 
except from The Times. 

Green had the hardest and most thankless part 
"3 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

of the work; even of the papers which still opposed 
him some had begun before election day to denounce 
Tweed and all his doings except those by which 
the papers stood to profit. The investigations of 
the Citizens' Committee and Mr. Tilden's study of the 
accounts in the Broadway bank, showing how the 
stolen money was divided, had driven some of the 
more timorous members of the Tweed combination 
to seek foreign parts; and it was clear that if the 
election went against Tweed the ring was broken. 
And it did go against him. Tweed's own district 
sent him back to the State Senate, but almost all 
of his candidates elsewhere were beaten; and The 
Times jubilantly asserted that the result '^justifies 
our confidence in the capacity of the people, even in 
large cities, for self-government." 

That was a long time ago; men had not learned 
then that though St. Michael may slay the dragon 
on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in 
November, that old serpent will probably be crawling 
about as vigorous as ever by the middle of June. 
The Tweed ring, to be sure, was broken, and the 
consequences of the prosecution were fairly typical 
of what has happened in a hundred similar cases in 
American municipal history. Because Tweed was 
the chief offender, because the evils of his time had 
become embodied, in the popular imagination, in his 
person, he was pursued with vigor through a long 
and tortuous career of indictments, hung juries, 
convictions, prison terms unduly shortened b^^ 
technicalities, flights to California, Spain, and Cuba, 
rearrests, civil suits, and finally commitment in 

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THE TIMES AND THE TWEED RING 

default of payment of a judgment to Ludlow Street 
jail, where he died. Of the other principals in the 
ring all in one way or another escaped jail; a few 
minor personages were convicted and locked up, 
and of the numerous millions stolen from the city a 
few hundred thousand dollars was recovered. And 
that was all. 

Three years later the Tammany ticket once more 
swept the city. To be sure, it was a somewhat 
deodorized Tammany. It was ruled by Honest John 
Kelly, and its ticket contained so considerable an 
infusion of respectable men that it might be a matter 
of some doubt whether the tiger was a black beast 
with yellow stripes or a yellow beast with black 
stripes. But it was the same old tiger, and before 
long it was up to the same old tricks. In view of all 
this, municipal reformers may be excused if they 
occasionally become faint with weariness and the 
heat of the day; if they wonder whether their efforts 
really serve any useful end but their own personal 
pleasure, and incline to suspect that while they 
may be hedonists, they are certainly not utilitarians. 

Nevertheless, experience has shown that this same 
prematurely triumphant Times editorial was accu- 
rate when it said that **the theory that government 
is only organized robbery has received its death 
blow." No other administration has ever been so 
bad as that over which Oakey Hall presided and 
which was ruled by Tweed. Even the vs^orst govern- 
ments of later decades did give the city some value 
for at least a good part of the money spent, and there 
has never been any parallel to the astounding rob- 
beries committed under the guise of repairs and 

"5 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

furnishings for the Tweed courthouse. Reform 
movements are bolder now; they have behind them 
something of a tradition of occasional victory. 
They are no longer beaten before they start; they 
need no longer fear that there is serious danger of 
voters being terrorized by mobs of gangsters, or 
of regularly elected candidates being counted out. 
That a majority of the residents of New York City 
still prefer a bad government to a good one might 
be assumed from election results now as ever, but 
some of them change their minds occasionally, and 
the minority which wants a decent administration 
no longer stays away from the polls from sheer 
hopeless conviction that it could accomplish nothing. 
No city administration of these times could dream 
of attempting to conceal its accounts from the 
public; and certainly no future Tweed, if there shall 
ever be any, would find that respectable newspapers 
are willing, as they were in 1871, to eat the bread of 
infamy and earn the wage of shame. 

For these ameliorations, such as they are, no 
single man can claim the credit. They are the work 
of many public-spirited men working through many 
years. But no one man has contributed so much to 
this improvement as George Jones. 



116' 



CHAPTER IV 

National Politics, 1872-1884 

^r^HE victory over Tweed was such a success as 
-■- no American newspaper had ever scored before. 
It raised the prestige of The Times to a height that 
had been unheard of even in the most prosperous 
periods of Raymond's editorship, and gave it a 
world-wide renown ecHpsing that which The Herald 
had won by its lavishness and eccentricities, while 
establishing it solidly in the favor of friends of good 
government in the United States. In the year after 
Tweed's fall The Times received still further acces- 
sions of influence and prosperity through the defec- 
tion of The Tribune from the Republican party. At 
that time, only seven years after Appomattox, par- 
tisan animosities burned with a fierceness such as 
Americans of a later generation can hardly realize, 
and even in the case of newspapers which as pur- 
veyors of the news were as good as The Times and 
The Tribune, a large if not a predominant part of 
the constituency valued the paper as a political 
organ rather than as a vehicle of information. When 
Greeley split off from his party and accepted a 
presidential nomination not only from the Liberal 
Republicans but from the Democrats, The Tribuiie 
suffered as The Times had suffered in 1866, and 
considerably more. In 1872 The Times could and 
did advertise itself as "the only Republican morn- 

117 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

ing paper in New York," and the support of the 
faithful flowed to it accordingly^ Its influence in 
the early seventies v^as greater than it had ever 
been before, and its prosperity may be judged by 
the fact that some of its stock sold in 1876 at fifteen 
times the face value. 

Yet the prosperous and powerful Times of the 
seventies had a circulation only about a tenth of 
that enjoyed by The Times today. Evidence for the 
entire period is not available, but in the fall of 1871 
— at the height of the campaign against Tweed, 
just before the election in which The Times led the 
reform forces to victory — the circulation never ex- 
ceeded 36,000. The circulation of the supplement 
with the extracts from the Controller's books is, 
of course, an exception, and now and then on the 
morning after election the paper might have shown 
a higher figure; but on the whole it may be said that 
the leading RepubHcan paper of the East at least, 
if not of the entire United States, in those years of 
prosperity sold anywhere from 31,000 to 35,000 
copies a day. 

It would be interesting to learn just what was the 
true circulation of The Times's contemporaries. 
Whatever it may have been, it was certainly not 
what they asserted. But statements of circulation 
fifty years ago belonged to the field of relativity 
rather than of conventional mathematics, and the 
circulation managers of that day have long since 
gone to face the final audit of the Recording Angel. 

And even on this small circulation The Times paid 
regularly a dividend of eighty, ninety, or a hundred 
per cent on its capitalization of ^100,000. There 

118 



NATIONAL POLITICS, 1872-1884 

was no reason why it shouldn't have paid dividends. 
Salaries were lov/er, as were living costs. The ex- 
pense of news getting was still very moderate. 
During the later months of 191 8 The Times often 
had a bill for cable tolls of ^15,000 a week, but in 
the seventies $15,000 would have paid the cable tolls 
of all the New York newspapers for a whole year. 
And while the circulation of daily papers was not 
large, most of them had weekly editions; and the 
ethical standards of the time permitted papers to 
allow the national committees of the great parties, 
in presidential years, to buy and distribute the 
weekly edition by the hundred thousands. That 
source of revenue has disappeared with the disap- 
pearance of weekly editions, and with the spread 
of a newer conception of newspaper ethics for which 
the present management of The Times may per- 
haps claim some degree of credit. A similar im- 
provement has led to the exclusion of certain kinds 
of advertising which in the seventies were regarded 
as unobjectionable. 

It may be observed that the business conscience 
of The Times in the seventies was notably higher 
than that of some of its contemporaries. By all 
the standards of the time, its prosperity was well 
deserved, as was its political influence. Neverthe- 
less, there was from the first a certain insecurity in 
this lofty position — an insecurity due to the char- 
acter which Raymond had given The Times from its 
very first number; indeed, even from that pros- 
pectus which had promised that it would be free 
from "bigoted devotion to narrow interests." For 
there had been a painful degree of truth in Oakey 

119 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

Hall's observation when The Times first published 
the figures from Connolly's books, that such an 
eminent Republican newspaper might be able to 
keep itself busy investigating the corruption in its 
own party. To the scandals which flourished in 
Washington, invisible to the somewhat too long- 
sighted eye of President Grant, the editors of The 
Times could not be blind; and seeing them they 
could not fail to condemn them, even though their 
Republican principles made them sometimes delay 
such condem.nation rather too long in the hope that 
the party would do its own housecleaning. Unfor- 
tunately, the party was not so minded; and The 
Times, which had always maintained a measure of 
independence unusual in its day, was compelled on 
occasion to express itself with a frankness which 
met with disfavor from more extreme partisans. 

So the chief interest in the history of The Times 
in the thirteen years between the overthrow of 
Tweed and the campaign of 1884 lies in the struggle 
of its editors, continually more difficult and finally 
hopeless, to reconcile their principles with their 
party allegiance. To one who studies the evidence 
of that struggle in the columns of the paper for 
those years there is apt to be suggested the simile 
of a loyal wife doing her best to get along with a 
scandalously dissipated husband. The Times had 
not exactly married the Republican party to reform 
it, but it did what it could to bring the party back 
to the strait and narrow path, and without success. 
Its reproaches were dignified; they never sank to 
the level of nagging; perhaps, indeed, they were too 
dignified to be effective, as The Times' s readiness to 

120 



NATIONAL POLITICS, 1872-1884 

believe In the reformatory intentions of its errant 
partner was certainly too complaisant. But at last 
the connection became unendurable, and under the 
final affront of the nomination of Blaine The Times 
walked out of the party and slammed the door. 
After that it would have taken a miracle of miracles 
to bring it back. 

When the Liberal Republicans met in 1872, The 
Times saw in their convention a strange assort- 
ment of well-intentioned but impractical doctrinaires, 
and of practical politicians who were disappointed 
because their rivals had crowded them away 
from the trough. That reform was needed The 
Times did not deny, but it could not see that it 
was likely to be accomplished by these gentlemen. 
And when the Cincinnati convention nominated 
Horace Greeley, the paper which had known Greeley 
and enjoyed his hostility for twenty years had no 
further occasion to seek for any concealed merits in 
the Liberal Republican organization. Greeley's at- 
titude toward Tweed had weakened his standing 
as a reformer; and when he permitted the Demo- 
crats to accept him as their candidate the paper 
which Greeley had so fiercely denounced, only six 
years earlier, for favoring a policy of reconciliation 
with the South could hardly place as much faith 
in his sincere desire for better things as perhaps it 
merited. Persons so violently and assiduously sin- 
cere as Greeley in a variety of contradictory causes 
can hardly expect to be understood by their fellows 
who are less gifted in moral fervor and metaphysical 
tergiversation. In view of the standards of news- 
paper controversy prevalent at the time, it says a 

121 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

good deal for the editors of The Times that they 
confined their attacks on Greeley to his poHtical 
views and affihations, and did not drag out the old 
scandal of Fourierism and free love. 

Yet The Times did not deny during that cam- 
paign that something had to be done. On October 
29, 1872, in the course of an editorial devoted chiefly 
to the prediction that the reelection of Grant in the 
following week would mean the disappearance of the 
Democratic party, there appeared this observation: 

With the exception of one or two un- 
founded flings or insinuations at the present 
administration, there is nothing in the Cin- 
cinnati platform [Liberal Republican] to 
which any Republican will not heartily 
assent, nor on the other hand is there any- 
thingin the platform adopted at Philadelphia 
[by the regulars] to which any supporter 
of Horace Greeley can take exception. 

However, it could well have seemed to honest and 
patriotic men in 1872 — and indeed it did seem to 
several millions of them — that it was safer to 
give the Republican organization another chance. 
Though The Times was at that time probably 
the strongest and most influential Republican 
paper in the country, though its editors could have 
solidified their position and made still more certain 
their prosperity by becoming an out-and-out party 
organ, they did not fail in the succeeding years to 
denounce the misdeeds of men in Washington, even 
when close to the administration. 

As a collector and distributor of news, too. The 
Times maintained in the early seventies the high 

122 




KDWARD GARY. 

Associate B^ditor. 

1S71-1917 



JOHN NORRIS, 

Business Managrer, 

1900-1911. 



NATIONAL POLITICS, 1872-1884 

standard of past years, and often surpassed it. The 
cable was now working at last, though its capacity 
was small. The Franco-German war had seen the 
first use of its facilities for the transmission of im- 
portant news, and even then only two or three col- 
umns a day of condensed bulletins and official 
statements had come in this way, with the mails 
bringing the detailed accounts of the defeats of 
the French army, the heroism of the Defense Na- 
tionale, the fall of one empire and the rise of 
another. 

The Times covered that war thoroughly and well. 
If it was somewhat outshone by The Tribune^ it had 
an honorable excuse; for The Times in 1870-71 was 
giving up a good deal of its space, and of its energy, 
to attacks on Tweed, while The Tribune had no in- 
terest in this particular field of the news. Great 
domestic news stories of the period were also han- 
dled exceptionally well. In the case of the fires at 
Chicago in 1871 and Boston in 1872 The Times gave 
more than a page on each of the first two days to 
stories of the disaster, and at the time of the Boston 
fire issued special editions through the afternoon 
of Sunday while the fire was at its height. 

Much of the credit for the excellence of The Times 
news service at this period must go to John C. Reid, 
who came to the paper in 1872 and served for seven- 
teen years thereafter as managing editor. He was 
one of the greatest news editors of the time, a 
pioneer of the new age which has seen the news 
department take over a good deal of the predomi- 
nance which formerly belonged to the editorial page. 
Under Reid, The Times performed in 1874 and 1875 

123 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

a feat without parallel in New York journalism up 
to that time, the reporting in full of the court pro- 
ceedings in the suit of Theodore Tilton against the 
Rev. Henry Ward Beecher for alienation of Mrs. 
Tilton's affections and misconduct with her. Edi- 
torial comment, at the time and later, suggests 
that the editors of The Times did not have that 
complete faith in the reverend gentleman's inno- 
cence which was entertained by his congregation, 
and the prevalence of doubt in the community was 
suggested by the eventual disagreement of the jury. 
But they handled the news with full appreciation of 
its value. Each day's story began with a **lead" 
of two columns or so, followed by a complete steno- 
graphic transcript of evidence and argument, the 
whole sometimes taking up as much as three pages 
in what was by that time a twelve-page newspaper. 
It was an expensive proceeding, but it was a great 
achievement in giving the public the news. 

No doubt a good many readers of The Times 
thought that the paper was giving an undue amount 
of space to this chronicle of sin and suffering. Those 
complaints come in often enough even in these days 
from readers who appreciate the paper's general 
reluctance to display news of this sort, and wonder 
why a good general rule should occasionally be vio- 
lated. But there was a reason in the Beecher case, 
as there has usually been a reason in similar affairs 
since. Dr. Beecher was one of the most prominent 
clergymen in the country; there was a natural curi- 
osity as to whether he was practicing what he 
preached. One of the counsel at the trial declared 
that "all Christendom was hanging on its outcome." 

124 



NATIONAL POLITICS, 1872-1884 

Full reporting of its course was not a mere pandering 
to vulgar curiosity, but a recognition of the value 
of the case as news. 

But always in the background was the horren- 
dous ghost of Republican corruption and misgov- 
ernment, a ghost which refused to be laid and 
which was every now and then uttering hollow 
groans such as could not fail to be heard by the 
editors even of a good Republican paper. General 
Grant's second administration failed to be that 
Saturnian reign which The Times had hoped in 1872. 
The great panic of 1873, though no doubt a natural 
reaction from the violent expansion just after the 
Civil War, provided a background of economic dis- 
satisfaction for political discontent. A bad busi- 
ness kept getting worse, and it was becoming 
apparent that the country might not be willing 
to wait much longer for the often-deferred reforms 
within the party. And a warning, strong and 
unmistakable, was given by the election of 1874 
when the Democrats recaptured the House of Rep- 
resentatives, and elected governors in a number of 
states, including New York. 

Looking back from the vantage point of half a cen- 
tury later, one is compelled to admit that The Times 
seems to have been somewhat unjust to Samuel J. 
Tilden, whose great accomplishments in exposing and 
prosecuting members of the Tweed group had won 
him the Democratic nomination for the governorship 
in 1874. Th^ Times felt that Tilden had only 
climbed on the band wagon of reform when it had 
become safe to do so. During the early and critical 

125 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

days of the struggle against Tweed, before the pub- 
lication of the Controller's accounts, Tilden had 
given The Times no help; but neither had anybody- 
else except Thomas Nast. And it could not be de- 
nied that the beginning of the end had come when 
Connolly turned over his office to Andrew H. Green, 
on Tilden's advice and insistence. This alone would 
have given Tilden an honorable place in the gallery 
of reformers, and his later services in analyzing the 
accounts of the Broadway Bahk which showed the 
disposition of the plunder, and in forcing the im- 
peachment of the worst of the Tweed-Fisk judges, 
had been of great and enduring value. Against this 
The Times could set off his tolerance of Tweed be- 
fore the exposures, and of the undoubted fraud 
which had procured the Democratic victory in the 
state and city elections of 1868. Tilden had kept 
his eyes shut when they should have been open; 
but he was not the only man who did that in the 
gilded age. He had opened them at last, and opened 
them quite as widely as the eyes of The Times were 
open toward similar misconduct in the Republican 
party. He was in pretty bad company before 1871, 
and when he accepted the support of Kelly in 1874. 
But a politician who wanted to keep out of bad 
company in those days would have had to climb 
to the top of an ivory tower and pull his ladder up 
after him. 

When Tilden was nominated for the governorship 
The Times had given cordial enough recognition of 
his ability and character, and its opposition to him 
during the campaign was directed only against his 
associates. Indeed, Tilden suffered like many re- 

126 



NATIONAL POLITICS, 1872-1884 

spectable candidates from the distrust of some of 
his supporters; and he set an excellent precedent 
by showing very promptly that he was his own 
master. Unlike many of the western leaders of his 
party, he was a sound-money man. He was as firm 
against Tammany as ever. And presently he un- 
covered, prosecuted, and broke up the bipartisan 
ring of canal grafters which had for years past main- 
tained pleasant and profitable relations with admin- 
istrations of both parties. The Times gave Tilden 
hearty support against the canal conspirators, and 
at the same time it was compelled to condemn the 
scandalous abuses which had been disclosed in Wash- 
ington, abuses not only ignored by the national 
administration, but oftentimes actually shared in by 
men more or less close to the throne. In 1875 the 
prospect of the coming elections was enough to dis- 
courage any honest Republican. A Democratic 
governor of New York was sending political crooks 
to jail without caring what party they belonged to, 
while a Republican president of undoubted personal 
integrity was blindly standing by his friends, and 
every week or so brought some new evidence that 
his friends were profiting by his confidence. 

The men who managed the Federal government 
behind the respectable figure of Grant could neither 
learn nor forget. The Times was compelled to repeat 
that the third-term movement was folly; that there 
was no reason for breaking an old and sound prece- 
dent for the sake of a man whose executive abilities 
were obviously not of a class with his military talents. 
The third-term movement eventually subsided, to 
rise again in later years; but with its subsidence came 

127 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

the growth of the probabihty that James G. Blaine 
would become the Presidential candidate. And most 
of the editors of The Times wtre convinced that Blaine 
would not do. Reform was needed, was demanded; 
and it would be an insult to the country to pretend 
that Blaine was the man to bring it about. 

By giving expression, even with due caution, to 
these opinions, The Times had by the beginning of 
1876 fallen pretty well into the bad graces of an 
administration which on the whole it had supported 
much more steadfastly than that administration 
deserved, and dissatisfaction with The Times^s in- 
dependence led to another scheme to take the paper 
away from George Jones, whom the friends of the 
administration regarded as chiefly responsible for The 
Times's unwillingness to exculpate a thief merely 
because he was a RepubHcan. Jones was the larg- 
est stockholder, but he was not a majority stock- 
holder. He had been saved from a similar attempt 
during the fight against Tweed by the opportune 
assistance of E. B. Morgan, but in 1876 he had to 
save himself. And, unfortunately, he had enemies 
within the office. Louis J. Jennings, the editor-in- 
chief, whose Republicanism was of a more blazing 
and reckless type than Jones's, entered into a plan 
with certain Republican politicians affiliated with the 
Grant administration to get control of the paper and 
make it a real organ of the party. Apparently they 
had some support among the stockholders; and the 
ten shares belonging to the estate of James B. 
Taylor were now on the market and might be used 
to solidify the control of The Times in the hands of 
Jennings and his friends. 

128 



NATIONAL POLITICS, 1872-1884 

But on February 4, 1876, it was announced that 
Jones had bought the Taylor stock, thus becoming 
for the first time owner of a majority of the shares. 
The price paid for Taylor's ten shares was $1 50,000, 
and this fact had become known in financial and 
newspaper circles. Rivals of The Times, unwilling 
to admit that this represented the real value of the 
stock, had circulated the report that part of the 
price represented "back dividends," or that it had 
been unduly inflated by bidding up against the 
friends of Jennings. It was also said that The 
Times had spent ^40,000 in reporting the Beecher 
trial; if so, it got it all back in increased circulation. 
At any rate, Jones took the occasion of the announce- 
ment of this purchase to deny all these rumors, and 
to inform the public that in 1875 The Times had 
paid a dividend of $100,000, or 100 per cent of the 
par value of its stock. At that rate $15,000 a share 
was a reasonable enough price. 

Further the announcement informed The Times 
readers that 

at no time during the last fifteen years [that 
is, since the beginning of the Civil War] 
has the paper paid a less dividend than 80 
per cent on the original capital, and in 
some cases the dividend has been 100 per 
cent. During the same period the entire 
indebtedness on The Times Building and 
property has been paid off, and the paper 
is now in the satisfactory position of owing 
no one anything. 

It was added that the circulation was larger than 
ever before in The Times' s history. 

129 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

The conspiracy being thus defeated, and Jones 
left in unhampered control of the paper, Jennings 
resigned in the following month and went back to 
England, where he became a member of Parliament, 
and passed his later years in the writing of books 
about the joys of the rural pedestrian. One of the 
illustrated papers at the time celebrated Jennings's 
departure by a cartoon which represented Jones 
standing on the roof of the Times Building and 
administering to his late editor-in-chief a kick which 
had sent him clear across the Atlantic, so that he 
might be seen in the distance dropping on the sod 
of Great Britain. Jennings had made many ene- 
mies in New York, who were glad to see him go; 
but it must be said that this scurrilous caricature 
somewhat unduly simplified and dramatized the 
transaction. 

John Foord, who had made his reputation by his 
work on the Connolly books, succeeded Jennings as 
editor and held that position until 1883. 

So The Times came into the campaign of 1876 still a 
Republican paper, but a paper with a shade of inde- 
pendence unpleasing to true zealots of the party. It 
was a campaign in which the paper played a very im- 
portant part, and in whose outcome one of its execu- 
tives, acting on his own responsibility and outside of 
office hours, had a part which was probably decisive. 
The Times' s attitude toward both the threatened nomi- 
nation of Blaine, and what many have always be- 
lieved to have been the election of Tilden, has been 
the subject of some misconception and of a certain 
amount of interested misrepresentation. The ac- 

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NATIONAL POLITICS, 1872-1884 

count which follows is based upon office tradition 
and the recollection of surviving members of the staff, 
together with a study of the files of the period. 

If Blaine, whom The Times had shown to be 
clearly unfit for the Presidential chair, had ac- 
tually been nominated in 1876, there would un- 
doubtedly have been some beating of the breast in 
The Times office, but the balance of probability seems 
to indicate that the paper would have supported him. 
But the Mulligan letters disabled Blaine for the time 
being, and the convention set a precedent by select- 
ing a respectable gentleman from Ohio, who was not 
handicapped by a record, bad or good. The Times 
supported Hayes with an enthusiasm undoubtedly 
enhanced by the memory of what had so narrowly 
been escaped, and attacked Tilden with a bitter- 
ness which can be explained only by the combination 
of an honest conviction that he was the less desirable 
candidate with a deadly fear that he was going to 
be elected. The sentiments of the editors concern- 
ing the great issues of the time, when those issues 
could be separated from questions of partisan pref- 
erence and personal hostility, may be read in an 
editorial on November 10, headed "Republican 
Responsibilities." This was two days after the 
election. The first awful sinking of heart that had 
come with the early returns on election night had 
passed away; latest returns — at least Republican 
returns — from the doubtful states indicated victory; 
and it was not yet apparent that the Democrats 
would be unsportsmanlike enough to object to any 
measures by which the Grand Old Party that had 
saved the Union might find it necessary to perpetu- 

131 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

ate its beneficent sway. Two days after the elec- 
tion Republicans could speak their honest feelings 
with a freedom that would have been unsafe before 
and afterward, and in the editorial of that day The 
Times denounced the carpet-bag governments, and 
declared that the party would not have had such a 
narrow squeak if its leaders had paid attention to 
the popular demand for reforms in the civil service 
and the national finance. That editorial of No- 
vember lo, in fact, is a sound and well reasoned 
Democratic campaign document. 

The Times' s news service during the campaign was 
full and able. It was, unfortunately, dominated by 
political prejudice; but to a large degree that was 
the rule in those days, and though political corre- 
spondence was full of vituperation of the enemy. 
The Times was generally first with the news, good or 
bad. Something must also be allowed for the tem- 
perament of John Reid, the managing editor. Reid 
had served in the war and had spent some time 
in Libby Prison. According to an office tradition, 
a Virginian who had known him before the war ob- 
served as he was entering: "There goes John Reid. 
He'll never come out alive." Unfortunately, Reid 
overheard him, and upon coming out alive he trans- 
ferred his resentment from this lone rebel to the 
entire Democratic party. Whatever weight may be 
given to this legend, Reid's partisanship was cer- 
tainly rather exceptionally bitter even for those days, 
and was reflected to some degree in the news columns 
of The Times. 

The paper had had a number of political corre- 
spondents in the South, and its readers were pretty 

132 



NATIONAL POLITICS, 1872-1884 

well informed of the conditions likely to surround 
the election. It was a time of bitter feeling, a trial 
of strength between the reviving forces of southern 
self-government and the carpet-bag administrations 
which saw themselves facing a long postponed and 
heavy accounting. The result of the polHng at any 
given point would pretty obviously turn on the 
question whether the Ku Klux would keep the 
negroes away from the polls or the regular army 
would keep the Ku Klux away from the polls. On 
both sides were very earnest men, so firmly con- 
vinced of the eternal justice of their purpose that 
they felt that the end legitimized any means that 
might be necessary. So the election of 1876, all 
through the South, could be accurately described, 
in Clausewitz's famous phrase, as "the continua- 
tion of politics by other means.*' 

Early reports from all sources on election night 
indicated that Tilden was winning. But early reports 
on election night do not always, though they do gen- 
erally, furnish an accurate forecast of the result, as 
is evident from the recent example of 1916. The 
other papers conceded the election of Tilden — even 
The Tribune, which was trying to atone by excess of 
zeal for its heresy of 1872. But the first edition of 
The Times — which went to press at a considerably 
later hour in those days than is now customary — 
began with the headline: "A Doubtful Election." 

And it was a doubtful election, some of the 
states being still claimed by both sides, with that 
pertinacity which campaign managers exhibit when 
they have any excuse at all. The first-edition 
editorial contained the statements that the re- 

133 



; HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

suit was still in doubt and that both parties had 
''exhausted their full legitimate strength," to- 
gether with some observations on Democratic elec- 
tion methods in New York City and in the South, 
"where there is only too much reason to fear that 
they have been successful." Then some analysis of 
the electoral vote, conceding most of the South to 
the Democrats and ending in the conclusion that to 
elect Tilden the Democrats would have to carry, of 
the states where the contest had been hardest. New 
York, New Jersey, and either Oregon or Florida. 
New York they had beyond dispute; at the time of 
sending the edition to press the result in New Jersey 
was uncertain; Oregon had not been heard from; 
and Florida was claimed by the Democrats. 

The final election extra, which went to press at 
six o'clock in the morning, contained the same state- 
ments as to the doubtful result. New Jersey was 
conceded to the Democrats; Oregon was claimed for 
the Republicans. The tabulation assigned 184 votes 
to Tilden and 181 to Hayes, including Oregon, Louis- 
iana and South Carolina, with the four of Florida 
still in doubt; and the editorial ended with the state- 
ment that, "if the Republicans have carried that 
state, as they claim," Hayes would win by one vote. 
John Bigelow, in his life of Tilden, saw a deep and 
dark significance in the fact that ungenerous refer- 
ences to the Democratic shotgun tactics in the South, 
and the fear that they had been successful, had been 
removed from the editorial in the last edition. 
Having been a newspaperman once himself, Mr. 
Bigelow might have appreciated the fact that some- 
thing had to be taken out in order to insert the tab- 

134 



NATIONAL POLITICS, 1872-1884 

ulatlon of the vote by states, which appeared in the 
last edition and not in the first, while still leaving 
the article of approximately the same length. 

It will be seen that the essential differences be- 
tween the first and last editions consist in the ascrip- 
tion of Oregon, previously not heard from, to the 
Republicans, the substitution of a Republican as- 
sertion of victory in Florida for the Democratic 
claim made in the earlier edition, with the final re- 
sult set down as doubtful, and the transfer of Louisi- 
ana and South Carolina from Tilden to Hayes. 

Any number of profound and elaborate explana- 
tions have been offered for these changes, as well as 
for TheTimes^s assertion that the result was doubtful. 
One story, first published in The Sun in 1887, was 
that Zachariah Chandler, chairman of the Republican 
National Committee, and William E. Chandler, who 
seems to have been a sort of deckhand and general 
roustabout for that body, sent a message to The 
Times in the early morning hours instructing the 
paper to "claim Louisiana, Florida, and South Caro- 
lina at all hazards, through thick and thin.*' Aside 
from the fact that The Times was not under the 
orders of these gentlemen, this story is disposed of 
by the circumstance that at that time Zack Chandler 
was asleep in his room at the Fifth Avenue Hotel, 
and probably troubled by nightmares, while Wil- 
liam E. Chandler was just arriving by train from 
New Hampshire, and reading in The Tribune of the 
great Tilden victory. 

More widely circulated, and more generally be- 
lieved, has been the tale that The Times would never 
have thought of casting any doubt on the election 

^35 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

of Tilden if Abram S. Hewitt, chairman of the 
Democratic National Committee, had not incau- 
tiously sent a message to the office, toward morning, 
asking what figures The Times had from Louisiana, 
Florida, and South Carolina. According to this ver- 
sion, Reid decided that if the Democratic National 
Committee didn't know what had happened, it might 
still be possible to save the sinking ship; a point 
of view which certainly Reid did impress on Zack 
Chandler after the last edition had been put to bed. 

But in supposing that this message had a decisive 
influence on The TimeSy some chroniclers of the epi- 
sode have forgotten that a newspaper office on elec- 
tion night receives news from other sources than 
national committees. It is true that about mid- 
night Hewitt sent to The Times office to ask what 
majority the paper was conceding to Tilden, and 
Reid defiantly answered, "None!" As the first edi- 
tion show^s, the other editors were not quite so posi- 
tive in their confidence; but at least this fact pretty 
well refutes the allegation that when the first edi- 
tion went to press The Times had no doubt of the 
election of Tilden. 

The other message, asking for The Times's figures 
from the doubtful states, did indeed come in from 
the Democratic headquarters — not from Hewitt, 
but from Arthur Pue Gorman — between editions; 
and it did undoubtedly gladden the heart of John 
Reid. But its influence on the men who declared in 
the final edition that the election was in doubt was 
only subsidiary. That the Democrats had no news 
of glorious victories in the doubtful states was a 
fact to be taken into consideration, but along with, 

136 



NATIONAL POLITICS, 1872-1884 

and subordinate to, the other facts which had come 
into the office in the telegraphic dispatches of early 
morning. 

The truth is, in the words of an article printed in 
The Times on June ii, 1887, that 

on the morning after the election of 1876 
The Thnes had the news — which no other 
paper in the United States had, and which 
the Republican National Committee did 
not have. It obtained it through its own 
enterprise and sagacity, and it paid for it. 

And the news was that the result was still in doubt. 

When the last edition went to press that morning, 
there were present in The Times office John Foord, 
the editor-in-chief, George Shepard and Edward 
Cary, political editorial writers, and John Reid, man- 
aging editor; besides Charles R. Miller, the present 
editor of the paper, who was then at the telegraph 
desk, and labored under the added handicap of 
being the lone supporter of Tilden in a company 
whose other members were all Republicans. The 
editorial council passed upon the news. 

What was the news? Oregon had been heard 
from. An Associated Press dispatch from Portland, 
by way of San Francisco, reported that the Republi- 
cans claimed the state by a majority of five hundred. 
That was the only news from Oregon, and it is the 
sort of news which has been accepted provisionally, 
in default of better, in every newspaper office in 
the country on every election night. Florida was 
still in doubt. An early morning dispatch from 
Augusta, Georgia, said that the Democrats claimed 
Florida by a small majority; a dispatch from the 

137 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

same place just before midnight had said that **both 
sides claim the state." If Reid's enthusiasm carried 
the council out of line, it was in the weighing of 
those two dispatches. 

South Carolina had been put by The Times in 
the Republican column. An Associated Press dis- 
patch from Charleston at 2:15 a.m. said that the 
election was very close, and that it seemed probable 
that the Republican Presidential ticket and the 
Democratic state ticket would win. An earlier mes- 
sage from the same source said that the Democrats 
claimed the state by four thousand, but that the 
result depended on some of the coast counties which 
could not be reached by telegraph. A special dis- 
patch to The Times from Columbia reported that 
the Republicans had probably carried the state by 
10,000, and that the Republican state committee 
claimed it by from 15,000 to 20,000. 

Louisiana The Times also assigned to Hayes. A 
message from the chairman of the Republican state 
committee declared that the state had gone Repub- 
lican by six or eight thousand; an Associated Press 
dispatch from New Orleans said that the Democrats 
claimed the state by 20,000, "the best informed 
moderate Republicans" by 4000; but that the re- 
turns were "meager and insufficient for an accurate 
estimate." 

This was the evidence. It certainly seems that it 
offered reasonable ground for thinking that the elec- 
tion was still in doubt; and if the Democratic Na- 
tional Committee itself was not informed as to the 
result in some of the doubtful states, that fact hardly 
justified news editors in giving them ofF-hand to the 

138 




TIMES SQUARE, 
WORLD SERIES BASEBALL CROWD. 



^ Brown Bros. 



NATIONAL POLITICS, 1872-1884 

Democrats. In The Times Jubilee Supplement the 
chief influence in making this decision was assigned 
to Edward Cary, who was certainly not a bigoted 
RepubUcan, and who could hardly be suspected of 
much sympathy with the sort of methods that might, 
and presently did, commend themselves to Zack 
Chandler. 

To working newspapermen who know upon what 
slender grounds election night estimates are some- 
times made up, and how generally these hazardous 
estimates are justified by the event, the decision of 
The Times editors will arouse little of the suspicion 
that was drawn upon this transaction by the pro- 
ceedings of the Republican leaders in the following 
weeks. 

Undoubtedly, The Times incurred unwarranted 
suspicion on this occasion from the enterprises sub- 
sequently undertaken, motu proprio, by its manag- 
ing editor. But when John Reid left The Times 
office at daybreak on Wednesday, woke Zack Chan- 
dler out of his troubled sleep, and presented that sur- 
prised but delighted statesman with his own analysis 
of the election returns, he was acting as an unter- 
rified Republican and not as managing editor of The 
Times. The paper can hardly be held responsible 
for the telegrams which he presently dispatched to 
Republican leaders in the doubtful states, over 
Chandler^s signature, containing such pointed sug- 
gestions as "Don't be defrauded" and "Can you 
hold your state?" Those telegrams were charged 
to The Times because at the telegraph office where 
Reid filed them the Republican National Committee 
had no charge account. In the circumstances, Mr. 

159 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

John Bigelow's indignant comments on the conspir- 
acy in The Times office are somewhat beside the 
point. But then Mr. Bigelow, besides having a very 
real ground for indignation in the proceedings which 
eventually put Hayes in the White House, had per- 
haps, through the unhappy though innocent experi- 
ence with the gold corner which ended his career as 
editor of The Times y acquired a somewhat exaggerated 
impression of the susceptibility of the paper to the 
schemes of conspirators. 

Thursday's paper began with the joyful heading, 
"The Battle Won," and contained the declaration that 
Florida was Republican by 1 500 or 2000. But it must 
be confessed that the dispatches on which this was 
based all came from Republican campaign managers, 
and it requires no very fantastic imagination to see 
in them the prompt response to the messages which 
Reid had dispatched in the name of Zack Chandler 
on Wednesday morning. Thereafter the paper stuck 
to its guns; it believed honestly that Hayes had been 
elected and it said so. Newspaper custom of the 
period did not require that the election night's news 
should contain any statements from the authorities 
of the opposition party, or any account of the man- 
ner in which the opposition candidate received the 
returns. On Wednesday The Times had published 
a dispatch from Columbus on Hayes's reception of 
the news, but not till Friday did it notice the Demo- 
crats at all, and then only to denounce as fabrica- 
tions some assertions of the "outrage mill, other- 
wise the press bureau of the Democratic National 
Committee, which continued to maintain the he- 

140 



NATIONAL POLITICS, 1872-1884 

retical opinion that Tilden had been elected. On 
Saturday an editorial headed, *'Let the Count Be 
Honest" expressed approval of Grant's ordering 
regulars to the disputed states, and echoed his 
statement that it would be infinitely better for the 
party to lose the election than to win a victory 
"tainted by the suspicion of fraud." There can be 
no doubt that the man who wrote these lines was 
quite as sincere as when he went on in the next 
paragraph to declare that an honest count would 
show that Hayes was elected. 

The editors of The Times could see no merit in the 
proposal of an electoral commission. To The Times 
it was indubitable that the President of the Senate 
alone had the right to count the votes as received 
from the states, and that the two Houses had no 
more privilege in the matter than any other spec- 
tators. There was a good deal of force in The Times' s 
criticisms of the electoral commission. Proposed as 
a method for reconciling the conflicting claims of the 
two Houses of Congress, it was easily reducible in 
fact to the shifting of the whole burden of decision 
to a single Justice of the Supreme Court. Not 
without reason The Times observed that it would be 
simpler, and equally fair, to let Tilden and Hayes 
cut for the high card; and the paper's disapproval 
of the measure as bringing the Supreme Court into 
politics was entirely justified by the event. 

It appears, however, that objections to the elec- 
toral commission were based in some degree on the 
fear that some of its Republican members would 
double-cross Hayes. The Times was obviously re- 
lieved when David Davis, who was expected to be- 

141 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

come the nonpartisan fifteenth member of the com- 
mission, resigned his seat on the supreme bench to 
go into the Senate, but it did not breathe easily till 
the first of the cases from Florida had been decided. 
The Times editorial the next day expressed regret 
that the decision had been reached by the partisan 
vote of eight to seven, but the explanation was easy: 
"Not one Democratic Senator, not even one Demo- 
cratic Justice, could be found impartial enough to 
sustain the decision which was finally reached*' — 
by the eight Republicans. 

Though for some of President Hayes's policies The 
Times' s praise could be only damningly faint, it 
supported him vigorously when it could in his ef- 
forts to improve the standard of public service, and 
it found reason for jubilation in at least one event 
which happened during his administration — the 
resumption of specie payments. The Times had 
fought so steadily and vigorously for the maintenance 
of sound principles of national finance and currency 
that it could see in this one more sign that hope for 
better things in public Hfe was not wholly illusory. 

One effect of Hayes's conduct of the Presidential 
office was to give The Times a higher opinion of his 
predecessor, and when the campaign of 1880 came 
in sight the paper gave some encouragement to the 
movement to bring General Grant in for a third 
term. But this support seems to have been due 
largely to the returning fear of Blaine, and lack of 
confidence in some of the other competitors for the 
nomination. At any rate, when the Republican con- 
vention nominated Garfield The Times gave him 

142 



NATIONAL POLITICS, 1872-1884 

hearty support. If the statement that he was 
"strong in his freedom from intrigue to gain the 
nomination" hardly seems as indisputable after forty 
years as it did when it was written, The Times 'j ap- 
proval of his soundness on financial issues was as 
creditable to him as to the paper. And if the edi- 
torial on the civil service plank in the RepubHcan 
platform was compelled to admit that the party 
leaders were against any reform in this direction, the 
editors could soothe their suspicions of the Grand 
Old Party by turning their eyes to the familiar spec- 
tacle of the iniquitous opposition. News dispatches 
from the Democratic convention were full of such 
violent denunciations and such bitter sneers as 
would not now be likely to appear even in editorial 
criticism of the opposition party. When Hancock 
was nominated The Times called him "a pretentious 
blockhead," *'an inflated Franklin Pierce," and 
remarked that the convention had "nominated a 
Northern General to resurrect a Confederate gov- 
ernment." Hayes, to the great dissatisfaction of 
The Times, as well as of a good many northern Re- 
publicans who were not yet certain that the South 
was back in the Union, had withdrawn the Federal 
troops from the southern states, and it was evident 
that this election could not be won either before or 
after the counting of the vote by the methods that 
had succeeded in 1876. Perhaps fear of the out- 
come may account for the vigor with which The Times 
derided Tilden's refusal to let his name go before 
the convention, and continued its attacks on "the 
great claimant" until Hancock was actually the 
candidate. 

143 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

However, there was no uncertainty as to the 
result of the election of 1880. The story of the elec- 
tion of Garfield and Arthur in The Times of Wednes- 
day morning, November 3, was headed **The Great 
Trust Renewed," and the editorial comment as usual 
referred to the "great responsibilities'* which lay on 
the leaders of the Republican party. **The momen- 
tous issues of the past are decided," said The Times ^ 
in remarking that sectional questions were disap- 
pearing and that an election was once more turning 
on problems which did not depend on the climate 
for their impression on the voters. How true that 
was The Times itself was to show four years later. 

In the quarrel over patronage in New York State 
which led to the fight between Garfield and Conkling 
The Times sided with the President, and made some 
severe criticisms of the part played in support of 
the New York Senators by Vice-President Arthur — 
whom, when he was nominated, it had described as 
"a man eminently worthy of a wider sphere for his 
abilities." That description is not usually applied 
to the Vice Presidency, but when Arthur exerted 
his abilities in the extra-official sphere of manipula- 
tions at Albany a great many people felt that this 
was rather beneath the dignity of the second officer 
of the Federal government. And then Garfield was 
shot. 

The Times's editorial comment on the morning 
after very naturally pointed the moral of the evil 
results occasioned by the demoralization of the civil 
service, which had led a disappointed office seeker 
to shoot the President of the United States. Also 

144 



NATIONAL POLITICS, 1872-1884 

there was some rather stern castigation for political 
leaders whose bitter attacks on the President might 
have had their effect on the mind of Guiteau, which 
in The Times' s opinion was "not remotely akin" to 
those of Conkling and Piatt. The next editorial, 
headed "To Whom It May Concern," contained 
these somewhat pointed observations: 

When James A. Garfield was reported 
yesterday as lying at the point of death, 
new bitterness was added to the poignancy 
of public feehng by the thought that 
Chester A. Arthur would be his successor. 
. . . No holder of the vice-presidential office 
has ever made it so plainly subordinate 
to his self-interest as a politician and his 
narrowness as a partisan. 

When Garfield died, however, The Times expressed 
approval of the correctness of Arthur's attitude dur- 
ing the interim in which there had been much dis- 
cussion of the President's "disability." But it 
added: 

The moment he selects an administrative 
officer because the nominee is his friend, 
and not at all because he possesses quali- 
ties which render him obviously fit to 
perform certain public duties, that moment 
his administration will be discredited. 

Arthur's record made this admonition somewhat 
desirable, but if it should be taken literally, one 
must fear that a good many administrations would 
have been discredited. 

Arthur as President turned out a good deal better 
than there had been reason to fear, but by no means 

HS 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

as well as could have been desired; and throughout 
his term The Times was slowly drawing farther away 
from what politicians would call reliability. The 
great causes in which the paper had long been in- 
terested now absorbed still more of its attention; 
civil service reform, though progressing slowly, was 
having a hard fight against the sturdy opposition 
of political leaders; tariff reform was still for most 
of the country a matter of religious sentiment and 
not of common sense, as Hancock discovered to his 
misfortune; and prevalent through much of the 
country, especially those parts of the West in which 
a whole generation was working itself to death to 
bring in civilization, there was a conviction that most 
of the problems of poverty would be solved if by 
some formula men could borrow hundred-cent dol- 
lars and pay their debts in fifty-cent dollars, or in 
pieces of paper which the United States government 
might see fit to regard as dollars. 

To educate the public on these issues took up 
much of the energy of the editors of The Times, and 
the perception that their efforts were regarded as a 
rule with positive hostility by the leaders of the 
party gradually cooled that fierce Republican enthu- 
siasm which had burned highest in the office in 1876. 
Moreover, corruption at Washington was not yet a 
matter of ancient history; and The Times in 1881, 
by exposing the Star Route frauds, accomplished a 
public service which deserves to be ranked next to 
the overthrow of Tweed in the paper's res gestae. 

The contracting for the delivery of mails on cer- 
tain routes (marked with a star on post-ofl&ce records) 
lying for the most part in remote and thinly settled 

146 



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NATIONAL POLITICS, 1872-1884 

parts of the country, had provided an opening for 
some enterprising grafters. The stealing had been 
going on for years, and the money abstracted from 
the pubHc treasury seems to have amounted to 
something like eight or ten million dollars. The 
guilty officials were to be found in almost every 
branch of the service, and their confederates outside 
the department included several politicians of na- 
tional eminence. 

The frauds were discovered by some of those 
eccentric persons who, holding public office in that 
period, regarded it as their duty to live on their 
salaries and treat their offices as a public trust. 
Like the men who exposed Tweed, they knew there 
was not much use in reporting their discoveries to 
high officials; and like those men they offered the 
facts to a newspaper. The parallel goes one step 
farther; in each case The Times was the second choice. 
Information as to the Star Route peculations was 
offered to the Washington correspondent of another 
New York newspaper, who sent to his office a syn- 
opsis of the evidence. It was plain to the editors 
that the trail led pretty high up in the post-office 
department and in political life outside, and it seems 
to have been feared that in the rarefied atmosphere 
of those lofty altitudes investigating journalists 
might find the climbing uncomfortable. So the paper 
first selected by the discoverers declined their offer- 
ings with thanks, and they came to The Times. 

The work of following up their leads and analyz- 
ing the methods of the conspirators was given to 
Frank D. Root of The Times Washington office, who 
is still with the paper. He did his work very thor- 

147 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

oughly, and by way of a greeting to the new admin- 
istration The Times in the spring of 1881 published 
the whole history of the frauds with appropriate 
comment. In the early days of the exposure, Root's 
stories sometimes occupied the entire front page of 
the paper and most of the second; and they had their 
effect in indictments, resignations, and a clean-up, 
of the department. The eventual result, of course, 
was not wholly satisfactory. Four years later, in 
editorial comment on the end of the last of the 
numerous prosecutions arising from the disclosures. 
The Times was compelled to record that the case had 
closed with *^not one cent recovered and not one 
guilty man punished." But the stealing had been 
stopped, and one more piece of evidence had been 
offered that with the development of investigative 
journalism the way of the transgressor was at least 
a little harder than in the past. 

In another instance in that same year The Times 
showed that it could crusade when it found occa- 
sion. Justice Theodoric R. Westbrook of the state 
Supreme Court had been lending his valuable sup- 
port to Jay Gould in the financier's effort to get con- 
trol of the Manhattan Elevated Railway Company. 
The jurist had even gone to the length of holding 
court in Gould's office, and had written to Gould 
that he would '^go to the very verge of judicial dis- 
cretion" in the aid of Gould's schemes. The Ti^nes 
investigated and exposed these transactions, which 
were promptly taken up in the Assembly in the hope 
of impeaching the judge. One of the leaders in the 
effort to get the Assembly to impeach Westbrook 
was a young man of good family just beginning his 

148 



NATIONAL POLITICS, 1872-1884 

official career, to whom the city editor of The Times 
furnished the evidence on which he based his first 
attack on a misbehaving pubhc servant and a male- 
factor of great wealth. As usual, justice flashed in 
the pan; the Assembly, for certain devious but not 
very dark reasons, finally refused to bring charges 
against Westbrook; but the judge thereafter walked 
as deHcately as Agag when he was dealing with Jay 
Gould, and Assemblyman Theodore Roosevelt found 
himself well started on a career as a reformer, v^hich 
The Times always thereafter regarded with interest 
even when it could not give it support. 

Another enterprise of the paper at about that time 
was of a less bellicose nature, but equally praise- 
worthy — the raising of a ^250,000 fund for General 
Grant. First suggested in 1880 by John M. Forbes 
of Boston, it was taken up by The Times immedi- 
ately after the election. George Jones took a deep 
personal interest in the campaign, and succeeded in 
pushing it through to complete success by the fol- 
lowing March. Thereafter he served as one of the 
trustees of the fund until his death. 

Accomplishments such as these, together with the 
general high standard of the paper's news service 
and editorial expression, kept The Times prosperous 
and powerful in the early eighties. New influences 
were coming into journalism; changes which were 
perhaps deplorable, but probably inevitable, were 
bringing papers of a diff'erent type into prominence; 
but The Times maintained its distinction as a con- 
servative paper — a Republican paper, to be sure, 
but never subservient to the party managers, inter- 

149 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

ested in a number of causes essentially nonpartisan 
and so drifting steadily away from partisan alle- 
giance. That it would actually break away from the 
party nobody expected until it actually happened, 
but the ground was prepared by the whole history 
of the paper and of the party in the previous 
years. 

By 1884 a good many men were getting ready to 
break away from the Republican party. Those 
promises of reform had been too often made and too 
regularly forgotten to carry much conviction. The 
party's reputation was no longer sufficient to carry 
a weak candidate; by the beginning of 1884 sensible 
men were beginning to realize that it w^ould need a 
very strong candidate and a lot of luck. And when it 
became apparent that James G. Blaine, carrying all 
the handicap of the Mulligr.n letters and the rest of 
his past, was likely to get the nomination, and that 
the most hopeful of his competitors was President 
Arthur, it was evident that the party might have to 
carry a heavier load than it had borne for a number 
of years. The first efforts of The Times were devoted 
to a fight against either of these nominations, and all 
through the spring of 1884 the paper conducted an 
editorial campaign designed to remind Republicans 
who wanted to win that this year the head of the 
ticket might have to carry the party instead of riding 
free on its record. 

By that time the editor of The Times was Charles 
R. Miller, who had succeeded John Foord as editor- 
in-chief in April, 1883, and who has held that posi- 
tion ever since. Mr. Miller was born in Hanover, 
N. H., in 1849, graduated from Dartmouth, in 1872, 

150 



NATIONAL POLITICS, 1872-18S4 

and after several years on The Springfield Republican 
came to The Times in 1876. Though of Democratic 
origin, he was at that time an independent in 
politics. His influence must be counted as con- 
siderable in determining the course of the paper in 
the campaign, but most of the other editors and Mr. 
Jones were in agreement that this year at any rate 
it would be impossible to support an obviously unfit 
nominee. An exception should be made of the ever- 
faithful Reid, who continued to believe that the Re- 
publican party was the sole repository of eternal 
truth, and thought that even a hint of departure 
from its ranks was the unpardonable sin. But nearly 
everybody else on The Times felt that though the 
paper ought to support the Republican ticket if it 
could, there were circumstances in which its duty to 
the public demanded a difl?*erent course. 

The deciding voice, however, had to be that of 
Mr. Jones. The editors who had grown tired of 
apologizing for the party's record, who had felt the 
gradual turning away of many of the most honorable 
and intelligent Republicans from the leaders of the 
party, and who had seen with misgiving the failure 
of efforts to head off the drift to Blaine — these men 
did not own the paper. In fact, none of them had 
any stock in it at all, and the certain financial penal- 
ties of secession from the party must be borne by 
Jones. These considerations were laid frankly before 
the owner of the paper by its editor, and with equal 
frankness he declared that he could not and would 
not support a candidate whom he regarded as de- 
plorably unfit for the Presidential office. 

The Times published on May 23 an editorial 

151 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

headed "Neither Blaine nor Arthur." The text of 
that sermon lay in this sentence: 

The list of men to choose from is not a 
long one. We do not believe that this is a 
year when "any good RepubUcan will do." 

But there was still hope in the office that the Repub- 
lican convention would select a satisfactory can- 
didate, and on the same page appeared an editorial 
caUing attention to the blunders which the Democrats 
had committed, as usual, in the House of Repre- 
sentatives. 

The next day the campaign was continued in an 
article headed "Neither Arthur nor Blaine." In 
this, Mr. Miller spoke aloud an opinion which a good 
many Republicans had been almost afraid to whis- 
per in private, but which they knew to be true: 
"The party is not strong enough to elect a President 
by the votes of what may be called its regular 
members." The notorious defects of Blaine were 
briefly mentioned, and President Arthur was dis- 
missed with the remark that he 

has done better than was expected, and 
is reported to have been a modest, quiet, 
inoflPensive occupant of the executive office. 

But this was no time for modesty and inoffensive- 
ness; the country needed something more than that. 

Neither Blaine nor Arthur [the editorial 
continued] is a possible President. The 
choice of a candidate must start from that 
fact. That once clearly recognized, it ought 
not be difficult to find a man who can poll 
the full Republican vote, and with it enough 

152 



NATIONAL POLITICS, 1872-1884 

of the independent vote to keep the govern- 
ment in the hands of the party which, we 
are convinced, is the safest and best. 

When the suspicion gradually arose that The Times 
might not swallow Blaine, people began to ask ques- 
tions. One of these — a query from an indignant 
subscriber who asked outright "if The Times will 
support the nominee of the Chicago Republican 
Convention'* — was answered on the editorial page 
May 29. 

If the nominee of the Chicago Republican 
Convention [said the editorial reply] is a 
man worthy to be President of the United 
States, The New York Times will give 
him a hearty and vigorous support. If he 
shall be a man unworthy to hold that high 
office, a man who personally and politically, 
in office or out, represents principles and 
practices which The Times abhors and has 
counseled the party to shun, we shall watch 
with great interest the efforts of those re- 
sponsible for such a nomination to elect the 
candidate, but we shall give them no help. 

There it was in plain language: Raymond's paper, 
Jones's paper, the paper that had led the Repub- 
lican journalism of the nation for a decade, would 
not support Blaine. That it would support the 
Democratic nominee was as yet by no means cer- 
tain, even to its editors, and in the spring of 1884 
nobody looked on the possible departure from the 
Republican party as anything but a temporary ab- 
sence without leave; but absence of any kind, for 
any reason, was certain to displease a great many 
readers, and it was yet to be seen whether the 

153 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

paper's defection would do more harm to the Repub- 
lican party or to The Times, 

At any rate, the decision was soon made. Blaine 
was nominated June 6, on the fourth ballot, and on 
the following morning a Times editorial headed 
"Facing the Fires of Defeat" announced that the 
paper would not support him, but would watch the 
party's adventures in the ensuing canvass with 
the interest of a friend and physician. Blaine, in the 
opinion of The Times, represented "the average of 
Repubhcan principles and purposes, of Republican 
honor and conscience, as they now are"; and it was 
suggested that "defeat will be the salvation of the 
Repubhcan party." The editors of a Republican 
paper which had just made such a difficult and 
costly decision might be expected to hope and be- 
Heve that one sad experience would purge the party, 
and that thereafter intelligent and patriotic men 
could return to it without qualms. That The Times 
never has returned to the party, and that for the 
next twelve years it leaned toward the Democrats, 
was due partly to the unexpectedly large amount of 
original sin remaining in the Republican party even 
after the purgatorial experience of 1884, and partly 
to the new spirit that was coming into American 
politics, and was embodied by Grover Cleveland. 



154 



CHAPTER V 

The Times in Transition, 1884-1896 

^ I ^HE campaign of 1884 definitely closed an epoch 
-■- in the history of The Times. It is hardly 
likely that anybody foresaw how complete would 
be the break with the party which for twenty-eight 
years had commanded the loyal support of the 
paper. The Republicans had no monopoly of 
corruption and incompetence, and it was quite 
possible that the Democrats might make a nomi- 
nation as bad as that of the party in power. But 
they did not. Cleveland was not very well known 
in 1884, but his good record as Governor had given 
the editors of The Times confidence in his principles 
and his capacity. At that time they were not 
personally acquainted with him; the long personal 
friendship between Mr. Miller and the President 
was a later growth. But what they knew of his 
pubhc record was satisfactory, and they soon came 
to the conclusion that he deserved the paper's sup- 
port. And they had a good deal of company; in 
the latter part of July a considerable number of the 
best men in the Republican party decided to support 
Cleveland, and the Mugwump campaign was on. 

So, if The Times had left the party with which 
it had so long been associated, it found itself almost 
at once recognized as the principal spokesman for a 
group which represented much of the best of the old 

155 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

Republican party and practically none of its un- 
desirable elements. And for years thereafter the 
paper retained this position, and found its inde- 
pendence not only more comfortable and satis- 
factory than its former party allegiance, but for a 
time almost as lucrative. The rejection of Blaine 
did indeed bring losses, which were considerable 
but not disastrous. And as an offset to the defec- 
tions the paper won many new readers who had 
previously found its intense Republicanism some- 
what unpalatable. 

The income did indeed drop a long way in that 
year. The net profits of the paper were ^188,000 
in 1883 and only ^56,000 in 1884. But much of this 
decrease was due to the reduction in price from 
four cents to two, in the hope of meeting the com- 
petition of the two-cent World and Sun, which took 
effect in September, 1883, And within a few years 
The Times, despite the loss of circulation income 
which followed the change to two cents, had recov- 
ered most of the lost ground and was very nearly as 
prosperous as it had been in its best years of the 
past. The decline of its fortunes in the early nineties 
was due to a complex of reasons, which will be 
analyzed presently; but it does not seem that in the 
long run it lost very much by abandoning the 
Republican party. 

What those readers missed who left it in 1884 was, 
it may be presumed, not so much Republican editorials 
as RepubHcan news. Though deeply aggrieved by 
the alteration in the paper's political allegiance, 
John Reid stuck to the ship, and before the 
campaign was over the political correspondents were 

156 



THE TIMES IN TRANSITION, 1884-1896 

speaking of the Grand Old Party in pretty much the 
same uncomplimentary language that had been 
poured out in previous years on the Democrats. 
Apparently political writers of the period were moved 
more by loyalty to the paper than by their predilec- 
tions for any party. 

The result of the election was a little doubtful in 
1884 — not so doubtful as some of the Republican 
leaders pretended, to be sure, but Cleveland carried 
New York by only 1 100 votes, and without New York 
he could not have won. On election night his sup- 
porters thought his majority was considerably 
larger, but some of the RepubHcans beHeved that 
Blaine had carried the state, and certain eminent 
stock speculators kept the wires busy with alleged 
news to that effect. 

The judgment of The Times rested on the re- 
ports of its own unequaled election news service. 
Those reports in 1876 had indicated that the election 
was in doubt; and while at this distance one may 
believe that the RepubHcan claims were unjustified, 
the evidence gathered by The Times correspondents 
did point to a conclusion borne out by the results. 
This was what happened in 1884. If three days 
after the election The Times insisted that there could 
no longer be any doubt of Cleveland's victory, it 
was because the reports of correspondents in whom 
the office had learned to have faith, and of the County 
Chairmen who wired their figures every night, gave 
New York to Cleveland by a majority of 1276. 
This was less than two hundred off the final and 
official figure; and to have come so close as that in a 
vote of over a million, in those more primitive days 

157 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

and in such a hotly contested election, was a really 
remarkable feat of news-gathering. 

President Cleveland turned out even better than 
The Times had hoped. He fought persistently, and 
in great measure successfully, for the causes in 
which the paper was most deeply interested — 
reform of the tariff and the civil service, and mainte- 
nance of sound ideas of public finance. With him, 
indeed, a new era began; the war was over, and the 
folly of partisan divisions based on memories of the 
war was becoming more apparent. The old names, 
the old forms, survived; but there were new issues 
and new ideas, and for the next decade The Times 
had an important part in forming the public opinion 
of the new day. In 1888 The Times, still an in- 
dependent paper, gave Cleveland its support for 
reelection without any hesitation; he had earned it. 
But David B. Hill, the Democratic candidate for 
governor, had not earned, in The Times^s opinion, 
the support of the paper. Accordingly the paper^s 
influence in the state campaign was thrown to the 
support of the gubernatorial candidacy of Warner 
Miller. It was The Times' s luck to back the loser 
in each case; Cleveland was beaten, and Miller went 
down in history as **the intrepid leader who fell out- 
side the breastworks.*' The Republican party was 
coming back hungry after a long fast, and outside the 
breastworks was a poor place to fall. Nothing 
occurred in Benjamin Harrison's administration to 
change The Times's opinion that Grover Cleveland 
was the most competent and trustworthy man in 
American public life, and in 1892 it supported his 

158 



THE TIMES IN TRANSITION, 1884-189G 

presidential candidacy once more with the convic- 
tion born of long acquaintance and complete con- 
fidence. 

In Cleveland's second term the paper had fallen 
on evil days, financially, and its support was perhaps 
no longer so powerful as it had been; but it was 
whole-hearted and unhesitating through a period of 
years when the President most needed friends. The 
Republicans had luckily been turned out in time 
to escape the blame for the panic of 1893, and were 
prospering by the misfortunes and division of their 
opponents. A good deal of the Democratic party 
had gone out to eat grass like Nebuchadnezzar, and 
the rest of it was mainly occupied in doing the work 
of the RepubHcans in the tariff struggle. The 
President's support was distinguished by quality 
rather than by quantity. But The Times saw a man 
fighting against desperate odds to preserve the 
credit of the nation, to win more and more of the 
public service away from the spoilsmen, and to keep 
faith with the people on the tariff issue; and it did 
what it could to hold up his hands. 

What is perhaps even more to its credit, the paper 
stood by Cleveland in the Venezuelan question, 
when many who had supported him on domestic 
issues thought that his rashness was Hkely to provoke 
a needless war. The Times maintained throughout 
that crisis that Cleveland's Venezuelan message to 
Congress was not a war message but a peace mes- 
sage; that the resources of routine diplom.acy had 
already been exhausted without result, and that 
decisive and arresting action was needed to prevent 
the dispute from drifting to a point where there 

159 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

would have been nothing to do but give up the 
Monroe Doctrine or fight. The event showed that 
this view was correct. When the British govern- 
ment reaHzed that America took the Monroe Doctrine 
seriously neither the Ministry nor the people was 
willing to make an issue in support of a petty in- 
trigue of colonial poHcy, and Cleveland not only 
won his point but succeeded in making both America 
and England realize that they were worth a good 
deal more to each other than they had suspected. 
This happy consequence could not be foreseen at 
the time by most Americans, and some of the most 
bitter opponents of the President were men who had 
hitherto given him their support. The position of 
The Times was due not only to well-grounded con- 
fidence in Cleveland's insight, but to a correct inter- 
pretation of the issues; it is easy to praise it now, 
but it took both wisdom and courage to adopt it then. 
In 1896 the paper was in something of a quandary 
as to the Presidential campaign. For the ideas and 
the principles of William Jennings Bryan it had no 
use; it had seen in past decades a good many Mes- 
siahs from the tall grass who promised to make two 
dollars grow where one had grown before. But 
it saw no particular reason for confidence in the 
party of Mark Hanna. On the tariff question the 
leaders of the Republican party stood for everything 
The Times abhorred, and while eventually the party 
and its candidate took the right position on the 
overshadowing issue of the currency, they were a 
long time in making up their minds, ^o The Times 
gave its support to the Gold Democratic ticket of 
Palmer and Buckner. In a sense, of course, its 

160 



THE TIMES IN TRANSITION, 1884-1896 

efforts were wasted; everybody knew that Palmer 
and Buckner could do nothing but make a gesture 
of protest. But a protest was badly needed in that 
year. 

At the end of Cleveland's second administration, on 
March 2, 1897, The Times published a six-column 
editorial signed with the initials of Charles R. Miller 
— so far as can be discovered, the only signed 
editorial that has ever appeared in the paper except 
in discussion of the paper's own affairs — reviewing 
the President's record. Today, when hardly any- 
body denies Cleveland's claim to greatness, this 
contemporary estimate can be studied with some 
profit. In the history of The Times there is nothing 
more creditable than the steadfast and loyal support 
which the paper gave to Abraham Lincoln and 
Grover Cleveland in dark days when it could not be 
foreseen that the faith of its editors would be ap- 
proved by the judgment of posterity. 

American journalism was changing fast in the 
eighties. The first influence in bringing in new 
ideas, that were destined to work more powerfully 
than their originators realized, was that of Charles 
A. Dana; the most powerful influence was that of 
Joseph Pulitzer. Between them, they eventually 
succeeded in inflicting mortal injuries on the old 
type of political newspaper that had flourished in 
the age of the slavery issue, the Civil War and re- 
construction. Of the old-timers The Times survived 
longest — with the possible exception of The Tribune, 
which passed a good many years in a state of coma 
with only occasional signs of persisting vitality. 

161 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

The modern type of newspaper in which the news 
side is predominant, though not to the exclusion of a 
vigorous editorial page, has taken form during the 
control of The Times by the present management, 
and it may not unfairly be said that that management 
has had a considerable influence in establishing the 
character of such papers; but in the late eighties and 
early nineties American journalism was headed in a 
different direction, and The Times stood out as 
almost the last representative of the old school. 
That it retained its influence in a changing world 
so long as it did, and indeed that it survived its 
extraneous misfortunes and lived to rise again, is 
sufficient evidence of the vitality of its old organiza- 
tion even when compelled to meet conditions for 
which it was not wholly prepared. 

Though "personal journalism" in the old sense 
had passed, the editorial page was still for perhaps 
the majority of Times readers the most important 
part of the paper; but the news service was still good. 
As an instance may be cited an episode which 
was remembered in The Times office because of 
the fact that it produced the most expensive cable 
message which the paper has ever received. In 1884 
there was under negotiation a commercial treaty 
with Spain, which would have an important effect 
on American trade with Cuba and Porto Rico. 
John W. Foster, the American Minister in Madrid, 
was conducting negotiations with the Spanish 
Foreign Ministry; but the provisions of the expected 
treaty were carefully kept a secret. Since they 
were of great importance to all exporters and mer- 
chants doing business with the Spanish West Indies, 

162 



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iuummtiv^n&iiiimsia^ 



dJIiiiiiiiiiiiiii 



g .._...-...- ,.....-.....,....-.-,... Mm m 



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H'i'i iiii 




THE TIMES IN TRANSITION, 1884-1896 

all the papers had been trying hard to find out the 
contents of the treaty in Washington and Madrid; 
but both governments were extremely reticent. At 
last it became known that the treaty had been 
completed, and that Minister Foster was bringing 
it home for presentation to the Senate. 

Early in December, 1884, The Times received 
information that certain persons in Madrid were 
able, and would be willing, to communicate the text 
of the treaty, which they seem to have obtained 
through financial connections, to an American 
newspaper. At once The Times cabled a credit of 
$8000 to these men to cover cable tolls, necessary 
expenses, and whatever personal remuneration might 
be found suitable. The full text of the treaty was 
cabled back to The Times, at a cable rate of 66 cents 
a word, translated in the office, and published on 
December 8. It occupied five columns of the front 
page; and the rest of the page was taken up with 
as many expressions of opinion from business men as 
could be obtained on Sunday. 

John W. Foster, on that morning, woke up in the 
downtown hotel to which he had been driven from 
the pier the night before, and upon opening his copy 
of The Times dived hastily under the bed and looked 
in his bag. To his certain knowledge the only copy 
of that treaty in the United States had been brought 
in by him the night before, and he could explain the 
publication in The Times only on the theory that 
somebody had gone through his baggage in the night. 
But his copy of the treaty was still there; and it was 
duly taken to Washington and laid before the Senate. 
By that time, however, men who had studied the 

163 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

treaty had come to the conclusion that it did not 
give sufficient protection to American commercial 
interests; and its rejection by the Senate may be 
taken as the result principally of the prompt and 
full publication in The Times. 

Another foreign news story on which The Times 
beat the town was the revolution in Brazil which 
overthrew the Emperor, Dom Pedro II. A feature 
of The Times which its readers could count on 
every Sunday was Harold Frederic's cable letter 
from London. In those simpler days only excep- 
tional events in Europe were reported at any length 
as soon as they happened; the daily cables carried 
only a sort of skeleton of the news, and every New 
York paper depended on the weekly cable letters 
from London and Paris for general interpretative 
discussion of foreign affairs. In this field, of great 
importance in those days, Harold Frederic was in 
the eighties and nineties without superior, and his 
correspondence from London was one of the great 
features of The Times. 

Toward the very end of Mr. Jones's life — in the 
early summer of 1891 — The Times undertook an- 
other crusade, this time against certain abuses in 
the New York Life Insurance Company. W. C. 
Van Antwerp, then a member of The Times's Wall 
Street staff and later president of the Stock Exchange, 
followed up a tip which had come to the paper with 
such amazing exposures that before long the officers 
of the company had filed personal libel suits against 
Jones and Miller for millions of dollars. These suits, 
naturally, had no consequence except to make The 
Times more diligent in proving its case; and the 

164 



THE TIMES IN TRANSITION, 1884-1896 

affair ended In the board of directors of the com- 
pany coming in a body to the office of the editor 
of The Times, and asking him to tell them how to 
clean house. As a result of this visit John A. Mc- 
Call was elected president of the company and the 
necessary reforms were carried out. 

The building which in 1857 had seemed prepos- 
terously expensive and unnecessarily large for a news- 
paper office was by this time too small. Construc- 
tion of the second building erected by The Times, and 
the fourth home of the paper — which, like the 
first, was in its day the finest newspaper structure 
in the country — was begun in 1888 from designs 
by George B. Post, and involved an engineering feat 
which aroused much astonishment at the time. It 
was found impossible to move out temporarily while 
the old building was razed and a new one erected on 
the same spot, and it became necessary to tear down 
the old building and put up the new one at the same 
time, while the work of getting out the paper con- 
tinued in the midst of the wreckers and rebullders. 
Thus as the old building disappeared the new one 
gradually took shape In its place, and by April,i889, 
the work of reconstruction was completed. 

Mr. Jones was fond of saying in his later years 
that this building would be his monument. He was 
mistaken in that; it was soon surpassed in size and 
splendor by new skyscrapers, and before long it 
passed out of the control of The Times, though it 
continued to house the paper for a decade after it 
had ceased to be in fact the Times Building. He 
may have thought that the paper itself would be 

165 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

another monument, but in that, too, he was mis- 
taken; The Times fell into misfortune and had to 
be rebuilt by other men. His true monument is a 
house not made with hands; it is to be found in a 
better informed public opinion, a higher standard of 
public morality; in a city and a nation where workers 
for good government are no longer hopeless or afraid. 
He died on August 12, 1891, at the age of eighty, 
having spent the last half of his life in The Times 
office. In the editorial appraisal of his work which 
appeared in the paper after his death it was said 
that 

his wish was that the newspaper should 
pay more attention to the worthy than to 
the unworthy side of human nature, that 
it should commend itself to right-thinking 
persons of some seriousness of mind and 
judgment rather than strive to satisfy the 
desire to know what the sinful and frivolous 
are about. 

Further in that editorial it was stated that "no 
writer of The Times was ever required or asked to 
urge upon the public views which he did not accept 
himself." This ought to be true on every news- 
paper, and it is true on a good many — on more 
today than thirty years ago. 

To the best of the knowledge and belief of the 
oldest members of the staff, it has always been true 
on The Times, 

It is often supposed that the decline in the finan- 
cial prosperity of The Times which set in in the early 
nineties had its origin years earlier, in the loss of 
Republican readers in 1884 and the reluctance of 

166 



THE TIMES IN TRANSITION, 1884-1896 

Jones to adopt the new methods of a new age. As 
already suggested, there does not seem much ground 
for this behef. The ground lost in 1884 had been 
pretty nearly recovered within three or four years. 
What really started The Times downhill was the 
heavy expense of the new building. The annual 
profit dropped from well over ,^100,000 in the middle 
eighties to only ^15,000 in 1890. 

It was true that the business system of The Times 
was out of date. It had done well enough in the 
sixties and seventies, when making a newspaper was 
a much simpler and less expensive matter; but times 
had changed. Expenses — necessary expenses — 
were rising every year. Competition was keener, 
abler, and more vigorous than ever before; and The 
Times was at a disadvantage with some of its com- 
petitors whose methods of advertising themselves, 
and of gathering and presenting the news, were not 
handicapped by any ethical scruples. A business 
organization of the modern type the paper had never 
had — and had never needed so long as George 
Jones was alive. There was no sound system of 
cost accounting; nobody knew just what the paper 
was getting out of the money it spent. But if the 
machine was antiquated and rusty, Jones knew 
every peculiarity of its workings, and so long as he 
lived to run it he could get results. When he died 
and a new man took the wheel, the defects of the 
mechanism became painfully apparent. 

The great majority of The Times stock was owned 
by Mr. Jones at his death, and left by him to his 
children, with the injunction, embodied in his will, 
that the paper should never be sold. Its active 

167 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

direction was assumed by his son Gilbert, and his 
son-in-law, Henry L. Dyer. Gilbert E. Jones had 
been trained in The Times office for twenty years, 
but there are some things about newspaper manage- 
ment that cannot be learned, but must come by the 
gift of God. In one respect, indeed, Gilbert Jones 
was an expert. He knew a great deal about news- 
paper mechanics; but neither he nor Dyer could 
operate an outworn business mechanism and recover 
the money that had been sunk in the new building. 

Also, The Times under George Jones had paid so 
well that his children were left with a good deal of 
property outside their stock in the paper. Natu- 
rally, when The Times began to lose they were some- 
what reluctant to throw into it the money which 
would enable them to live on in independence and 
comfort aside from any consideration of its fortunes. 
It is hardly surprising that when it became appar- 
ent that the new management could not make the 
paper pay, the heirs began to think of disregarding 
the stipulation that they should hold on to the 
paper whether it proved to be a source of profit or 
a drain upon the fortunes of the family. 

The reduction of the price to two cents, in 1883, 
had not brought the expected increase in circulation 
and had materially reduced the income. The two- 
cent Times was soon forced to compete with one- 
cent papers; and the stroke of genius which saved 
The Times in 1898 by reducing the price to one cent, 
and discovering a new army of readers in a field 
where it had been supposed there was no appetite for 
anything but the variegated and somewhat too highly 
flavored menu offered by some of the other papers, 

168 



THE TIMES IN TRANSITION, 1884-1896 

was beyond the vision of the heirs of George Jones. 
The best they could do was to raise the price, and 
it was set at three cents in December, 1891. The 
result was a further loss in circulation, and before 
Jones had been dead a year his children were pre- 
paring to get rid of a property which had been a 
gold mine in his hands, but which they found only 
a burden. 

It came to the knowledge of the editors of The 
Times late in 1892 that the paper was likely to be 
sold, and sold to a gentleman who, whatever his 
good qualities, could hardly be regarded as an en- 
tirely desirable chief by the men who had served 
Raymond and Joijes. There were men on The Times 
who understood and valued its great traditions, who 
had given the best part of their lives as a contribu- 
tion to its work, and who were unwilling to let that 
work come to nothing; and it was as a desperate 
resort that they undertook to buy the paper them- 
selves, with the aid of their friends. 

On April 13, 1893, The Times was sold to the New 
York Times Publishing Company, of which the 
president was Charles R. Miller, the editor of the 
paper. Mr. Miller and his associates, Edward Cary 
and George F. Spinney, had been the organizers of 
the new company. Some of the men associated with 
them in the ownership had come in because of per- 
sonal friendship, others because they appreciated 
the continuing need for such a paper as The Times. 

The price paid to the Jones estate was ^1,000,000, 
and it bought virtually nothing but the name and 
good will of the paper. The real estate was trans- 
ferred to another company controlled by Mr. Jones's 

169 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

heirs, and his newspaper continued as a tenant in 
the building erected with its profits and its credit. 
In order to recoup themselves for the losses sus^ 
tained in the past two years, Jones and Dyer had 
also retained the outstanding accounts receivable. 
The presses were old and dilapidated; the linotype 
machines were only leased. A million dollars was a 
good deal of money to pay for the privilege of con- 
tinuing the business at the old stand, but the men 
who paid it were those who knew, loved, and ap- 
preciated the merits of the paper. The heirs of 
Mr. Jones were naturally more interested in getting 
a price which would set them back in the position 
they had occupied before they had essayed to pub- 
lish The Times themselves, while its editors were 
chiefly concerned to prevent it from being "sold 
down the river." This diff^erence in purpose also 
accounts for the fact that the new owners were will- 
ing, when they found it necessary, to pay cash. 
As a matter of fact, one man who had promised 
and expected to invest ^50,000 in the enterprise 
found at the last moment that he could not get the 
money, so Jones and Dyer, appreciating the loy- 
alty of the men who wanted to continue George 
Jones's paper and who could not possibly scrape 
together more than ^950,000, decided to accept that 
sum. 

Though the editors of The Times held only a small 
minority of the stock in the new company, it was 
understood that they were to undertake the editorial 
and business management of the paper. Unfortu- 
nately, it could not be managed without money. All 

170 



THE TIMES IN TRANSITION, 1884-1896 

the money still due The Times was to be paid to the 
Jones estate; and the editors had put into the pur- 
chase price every cent they had or could raise among 
their friends. They had no outside properties such 
as would have enabled Jones and Dyer to carry the 
paper, for a time, at a loss. And then came the 
panic of 1893. 

Not only did that panic make it all but impossible 
to find money to carry on the paper, but it led to 
a great and ruinous decrease in advertising — espe- 
cially financial advertising, in which The Times had 
always been preeminent. The new company never 
had a chance to get started; the only surprising 
feature of its history is that it managed to hold on 
for three years. Eventually it managed to sell 
^250,000 of debenture notes, and the money thus 
received carried the paper along; but it was losing 
more heavily every day. As it lost money it be- 
came less able to incur expenditures for the gather- 
ing and presentation of news; and becoming thus a 
less valuable newspaper it lost still more money. 
The editorial page was as good as ever, and its 
valiant support of President Cleveland is one of the 
brightest spots in the history of The Times; but it 
is the only bright spot between 1893 and 1896. 

For the restoration of the paper to its former 
state various schemes were devised by the men who 
had invested in the new company, but none of them 
gave much ground for confidence, and it began to 
seem that the great institution built up by Raymond 
and Jones might fall into unworthy hands, or lose 
its individuality by consolidation with another 
paper. Hope that The Times could be restored 

171 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

while retaining its character had almost vanished, 
when there appeared in New York a small-town 
newspaperman from Tennessee, who became in- 
terested in the problem and presently set himself 
to find a solution. This was Adolph S. Ochs, of 
Chattanooga. 



172 



PART II 



CHAPTER 1 

Restoration of The Times, 1896-1900 

^ I ^HE history of The New York Times since 1896 
-*- should properly be written with a somewhat 
different emphasis and from another viewpoint 
than the story of the paper under Raymond and 
Jones. In their day, a newspaper was first of all 
a vehicle of political opinion; and, as has been 
noted, The Times retained that character longer 
than most of its contemporaries. The art of gath- 
ering and presenting news was primitive in Ray- 
mond's day, and indeed in Jones's day; and the 
ideal of impartial and disinterested news was less 
generally respected. So the history of The Times 
before 1896 must in large part be the history of a 
political newspaper, and its interaction with the 
changing feelings of the period. 

In the story of The Times as it is today, a 
paper which was born again in 1896, discussion of 
political views takes a secondary position. For 
most newspaper readers of the present the news de- 
partment is of more importance than anything else, 
and in the modern history of the art of getting and 
presenting news The Times has a prominent part. 
Another department of the paper, subordinate but 
essential, also claims a share of interest. In the time 
of Raymond and Jones the volume of business even 
of the most successful paper was small, by modern 

17s 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

standards, and its organization had none of the in- 
tricacy of development essential for the paper of 
today. Nor were the ethical standards of the mid- 
nineteenth century as exacting as those of today. 
The modern newspaper has to find revenue, free 
from subvention of any kind and particularly in 
the shape of political patronage, to provide for the 
enormous expenditures for news. The history of the 
development of the business affairs of The Times in 
the past twenty-five years offers a good deal of in- 
struction and interest; it is the story of the rise of 
a paper exemplifying certain principles from desti- 
tution to a degree of prosperity almost without par- 
allel, and one which seemed to a good many news- 
papermen beyond the reach of a paper conducted 
on those principles. 

Moreover, the editorial character of The Times 
has always been pretty much the same, in prosper- 
ity and in adversity. In 1851, in 1871, in 1884 and 
in 1921 it was a sober, conservative, dignified paper, 
always American, with its special position in the 
esteem of readers who valued sobriety of discussion 
and intelligent and balanced judgment. The prin- 
cipal interest in the history of the modern Times 
lies in the process by which this paper, which in its 
best days of old had seldom had more than 35,000 
subscribers, came to appeal to more than ten times 
that number. Its rise surprised even its conductors; 
the best they hoped, twenty-five years ago, was 
that a paper conducted on the principles which they 
held might attain as large a circulation as 50,000. 

The story of this astounding rise to prosperity and 
influence has been told by other writers, but only in 

176 



RESTORATION OF THE TIMES, 1896-1900 

fragments. This history will attempt for the first 
time to tell it as a whole, and with fuller and more 
authentic details than have previously been pre- 
sented to the reader, in the belief that it will be 
found instructive by men engaged in making news- 
papers and of some interest even to the general 
public, which believes more and knows less about 
newspaper making than about almost any other 
business on earth. The story is unfinished; its ac- 
tion is still going on; its chief actors, or most of 
them, are still on the stage. This fact perhaps im- 
poses some restraint on the historian, but it is his 
belief and the belief of the conductors of The Times 
that no relevant detail of the story has been omitted. 
Because it is an unfinished story, however, the nar- 
rative must be treated as a record rather than as 
a critical history. It is too early for detached judg- 
ment on most of the work of the past twenty-five 
years in The Times ofliice, and in any case the men 
who have done that work, and whose views are rep- 
resented in this part of the narrative, are not the 
men to pass judgment on what they themselves 
have done. The rise of The Times possesses, to a 
rather unusual degree, that romance which attaches 
to the growth of most great business enterprises; 
but that side of the story must be left for treat- 
ment by persons outside the institution. It could, 
moreover, easily lead to a distorted view of some of 
the phases of that growth. The fact that The Times 
was often, in past years, desperately hard up, has 
some romantic and dramatic value; but for the pur- 
poses of this narrative the fact, which may be as- 
sumed, is less important than the policies pursued 

177 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

by the management of the paper in that situation. 
Essentially, then, this story must be something in 
the nature of a report of a laboratory experiment, 
presented by those who have done the work for the 
critical judgment of the public outside. 

Adolph S. Ochs, publisher of The Chattanooga 
Times, who came into the history of The New York 
Times in the spring of 1896, had been first actively 
interested in New York City papers by a hasty 
summons from a friend in New York, who had tele- 
graphed, ''The opportunity of your hfe lies before 
you." This opportunity, it was presently discovered, 
was the business management of The New York Mer- 
cury, 3. publication which maintained a rather pre- 
carious existence in somewhat the same field as that 
now occupied by The Morning Telegraph. The great 
free silver campaign of 1896 was about to begin, 
and a group of ''silver Senators" had planned to 
buy The Mercury and estabhsh it as a free silver 
daily in New York. 

Mr. Ochs's informant was a personal friend, Leo- 
pold Wallach, a prominent member of the New 
York bar, who later was for many years, until his 
death, legal adviser of The Times, He, though hos- 
tile to the free silver cause, had become acquainted 
in a professional way with some of these gentlemen, 
and when he learned that they were seeking an ex- 
perienced newspaperman as business manager of the 
enterprise he at once thought of his friend in Chat- 
tanooga. 

To the execution of this plan, however, there was 
an insuperable obstacle. Mr. Ochs believed in the 

178 



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RESTORATION OF THE TIMES, 1896-1900 

gold standard, and his newspaper, The Chattanooga 
Times, was its most consistent advocate in the 
southern states at a time when most of the south- 
ern Democrats were making a fetish of i6 to i. 
When he learned the nature of the enterprise, after 
arriving in New York, he declined to consider the 
offer; and for various reasons the plan was pres- 
ently abandoned. The owner of The Mercury, how- 
ever, was still eager to get rid of his property; and 
after some conversations with Mr. Ochs he offered 
to sell it to him. Mr. Ochs saw what he thought 
was an opening in New York City for a small strictly 
news paper at one cent. Although he was not par- 
ticularly interested in The Mercury as it then was, 
it seemed to him that The Mercury might be trans- 
formed into a newspaper of this sort, for it was a 
client of the associated newspapers of New York and 
received their full service. This service was at that 
time quite complete, as The New York Sun, Times, 
Herald and Tribune were directing the United Press 
organization in a bitter contest with the Associated 
Press, which at that time was composed chiefly of 
western papers. But the negotiation for the purchase 
of The Mercury came to nothing when the owner 
found he could not give an assurance for a contin- 
uance of the press association news service of the 
other New York dailies. The Mercury shortly there- 
after ceased publication, but the negotiations had 
caused Mr. Ochs to make several trips to New 
York, and in the meantime a rather academic interest 
which he had previously expressed in the affairs of 
The Times had been awakened. 
It happened that in 1890 Harry Alloway, a mem- 
179 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

ber of The Times Wall Street staff, had been enter- 
tained by Mr. Ochs while on a trip through the 
South and had heard him remark that The New 
York Times offered the greatest opportunity in 
American journalism. Long after this — ■ on March 
12, 1896, Mr. Ochs's thirty-eighth birthday — he re- 
ceived a telegram from Mr. Alloway saying that if 
he was interested there seemed likely to be an op- 
portunity of acquiring The New York Times with 
no very large outlay of money. Alloway knew of 
the financial difficulties of The Times, and of some 
plans for its reorganization, and telegraphed to Mr. 
Ochs purely as a friendly act, without authority 
from any one. Mr. Ochs did not take the matter 
very seriously; but it happened that the next day 
he had occasion to go to Chicago. While there he 
took lunch with his friend, Herman H. Kohlsaat, 
publisher and proprietor of the Chicago Times- 
Herald, to whom he incidentally mentioned the tele- 
gram from Alloway. A general discussion of the 
New York newspaper situation ensued, and Mr. 
Kohlsaat observed that he thought The Times was 
Mr. Ochs's opportunity. To this Mr. Ochs ob- 
jected that he didn't think he was a big enough 
man for the job. "Don't tell anybody," Mr. Kohl- 
saat advised him, "and they'll never find it out." 
Arriving in New York a few days later, Mr. Ochs 
met Mr. Alloway and learned from him the infor- 
mation he had gathered about the situation in The 
Times office — that a plan of reorganization was 
being discussed, that several newspaper managers in 
New York had been approached with the sugges- 
tion that they try to rebuild The TimeSy and that 

180 



RESTORATION OF THE TIMES, 1896-1900 

for an investment of ^250,000 it might be possible 
to secure control. Mr. Ochs having displayed in- 
terest, Mr. Alloway arranged an interview with 
Charles R. Miller, the editor-in-chief. Mr. Ochs 
and Mr. Miller met for the first time that evening 
at Mr. Miller's residence. The interview had been 
arranged for a few minutes after dinner, as Mr. 
Miller had an engagement to accompany his family 
to the theatre. Two kindred souls met. The dis- 
cussion of the situation of The Times and of Mr. 
Ochs's ideas of newspaper making was so absorbing 
that the family went ahead to the theatre on the 
understanding that Mr. Miller would join them 
later. The performance ended, they returned and 
found the discussion still in progress. It lasted until 
midnight, and resulted in convincing Mr. Miller 
that the man from Chattanooga had some pretty 
sound ideas about the reconstruction of The Times. 
Mr. Miller arranged for Mr. Ochs to meet the 
next day the men who were working out a plan of 
reorganization for which they had secured some 
promises of new capital. Charles R. Flint and 
Spencer Trask, who were at the head of this move- 
ment, were both favorably impressed, and invited 
Mr. Ochs at once to join the syndicate they were 
forming, which had only a day or so left to make 
its plans operative and hold the tentative subscrip- 
tions. But the plan required more money from Mr. 
Ochs than he could command, or would have cared 
to endeavor to secure. When he declined to become 
financially interested, Mr. FHnt had acquired such 
confidence in his ideas that he offered Mr. Ochs the 
management of the proposed reorganized company, 

181 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

and intimated that a salary of $50,000 a year was 
not beyond the possibiKties. In other circumstances 
Mr. Ochs might have been wiUing to go down in his- 
tory as the first Tennessean who ever got such a 
salary, but he was of the opinion that if he tried 
to manage The Times for somebody else the most 
probable result would be the speedy disappearance 
of the job, the salary and The Times. 

The failure of this plan left the way clear for 
that faction of the stockholders which wanted to 
consolidate The Times with The New York Re- 
corder^ a. daily newspaper on which several millions 
had been spent in a fruitless effort to establish it. 
They had even gone so far as to file at Albany ap- 
plication for a charter for "The Times-Recorder 
Company," with a capital of $2,500,000, when 
Charles R. Miller and Edward Cary, who were the 
chief editors of the paper and members of its Board 
of Directors, obtained the appointment of a receiver 
and circumvented this plan. 

All those interested in the reorganization who had 
met Mr. Ochs seemed agreed that he was the man 
The Times needed, and the receiver, Mr. Alfred Ely, 
was selected by those friendly to Mr. Ochs. But it 
should be remembered that before his appearance it 
had been the conviction of most of those interested 
in The Times that it needed a man experienced in 
New York journalism to do the work. Every am- 
bitious managing editor in town had long ago been 
approached and invited to attempt the restoration 
of The Times, and with one accord they had all 
made excuses. Not till the whole field of metro- 
politan journaHsm had been searched in vain for a 

182 



RESTORATION OF THE TIMES, 1896-1900 

rescuer, not till every one of the men who ought to 
have known had declared that The Times could not 
be restored, did Mr. Ochs get his chance. These 
experienced men, with intimate knowledge of the 
New York newspaper situation, were of one opinion 
— that it would require several million dollars to re- 
suscitate The Times and place it in a position to 
compete with The Herald, The Worlds The Journal, 
The Tribune and The Sun, all having men of great 
wealth as owners or interested in their success. 

Mr. Ochs's experience, to be sure, had been varied 
enough. He was thirty-eight years old; he had 
started in the newspaper business at the age of eleven 
as a carrier of papers, had graduated from that posi- 
tion to printer's devil, and had worked up through 
every position which either the news, the editorial, 
or the business department of Tennessee journalism 
had to offer until at the age of twenty he had be- 
come proprietor and publisher of The Chattanooga 
Times. In eighteen years he had brought this paper 
to a degree of prosperity remarkable in a city of that 
size, and to a position in public confidence perhaps 
still more unusual — for the obstacles to journalistic 
virtue are perhaps most formidable in the smaller 
cities. Among southern newspaper men he was al- 
ready widely known, but Chattanooga is a long way 
from New York; and the gentlemen who were 
trying to dig The Times out of the drifts were slow 
to admit that a problem which was by this time 
too much for them, and which had been politely 
evaded by some of the ablest newspaper managers 
in New York, could be solved by an unknown from 
a small town. Fortunately, Mr. Ochs was able to 

183 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

gather a formidable volume of letters of recommen- 
dation. They came from the President of the United 
States, from Senators, Governors and bishops; from 
bank presidents, railroad presidents, editors of rival 
newspapers and people who had known him in Chat- 
tanooga. That he was able to produce so many of 
them was perhaps due to the fact that he had been 
semi-officially recognized as the entertainer of dis- 
tinguished visitors to Chattanooga, and thus had 
become fairly well acquainted with a wider circle 
than the ordinary newspaper man of the interior 
could know. At any rate he had many letters and 
their tone was convincing. They served to reinforce 
the confidence which had gradually been estabhshed 
by personal contact. 

It was expected that the receivership, which was 
a friendly one, would be required for only a few 
days, pending the adoption of a plan of reorganiza- 
tion fathered by Mr. Spencer Trask. But this 
scheme also miscarried, and with Mr. Trask's en- 
couragement Mr. Ochs submitted a new plan which 
he presented personally to nearly every stockholder 
and creditor of The New York Times Publishing 
Company. It was approved and accepted, and Mr. 
Trask consented to act as Chairman of the Reorgani- 
zation Committee, whose other members were Mar- 
cellus Hartley, Alfred Ely, James T. Woodward, and 
E. Mora Davison. The plan was declared operative 
on July 2, 1896. 

It was a pretty large undertaking for Mr. Ochs 
to buy control of The Times, even though he was 
buying it mostly with his ability rather than his 
money; but it was not much larger, in proportion, 

184 



RESTORATION OF THE TIMES, 1896-1900 

than the effort he had made eighteen years before, 
when, not yet old enough to vote, he had bought 
The Chattanooga Times by paying $250 in cash — 
borrowed — and assuming its debt of $1500. It 
seemed to him that the principles which had suc- 
ceeded in Chattanooga might succeed equally well 
in New York; at any rate they were the only prin- 
ciples which he felt competent to put into practice. 
Only one new resolution did he make on coming to 
New York — a firm resolve not to have any other 
outside interest, but to give all his attention, and 
employ all the resources of his credit, for the inter- 
ests of The Times, 

The plan of reorganization has already been told 
in various publications, but may perhaps here be 
given in outline. A new organization, The New 
York Times Company, was formed, with a capital 
of 10,000 shares of par value of $100. Two thou- 
sand of these shares were traded in for the 10,000 
shares of the old company. The holders of the out- 
standing obligations of The Times, amounting to 
some $300,000, received in exchange an equal amount 
of 5 per cent bonds of the new company; and per- 
haps the most exacting part of the financing of the 
reorganization was accomplished when $200,000 
more of these bonds were sold at par, to provide 
that operating capital the lack of which had been 
so severely felt in past years. As a persuasive, fif- 
teen shares of stock were offered to each purchaser 
of a $1000 bond. Mr. Ochs himself, scraping to- 
gether all the money he had or could borrow, bought 
$75,000 of these bonds, receiving with them 11 25 
shares of stock. Of the remaining capital stock of 

185 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

the company 3876 shares were put into escrow, to 
be delivered to Mr. Ochs whenever the paper had 
earned and paid expenses for a period of three con- 
secutive years. Thus he would have — and within 
less than four years did have — 5001 of the 10,000 
shares and ^75,000 in bonds, the whole acquired 
by the payment of $75,000 for the bonds and by 
his personal services. That $75,000 was the finan- 
cial investment, and the only investment, aside from 
his own labors, which the controlling stockholder of 
The Times made for his majority interest. 

The company thus organized bought The Times 
at pubhc sale on August 13, 1896. The receiver- 
ship was terminated by court order; on August 18, 
1896, the property was formally transferred to the 
reorganized company, with Mr. Ochs as publisher 
in unrestricted control; and the saddest chapter in 
the history of The Times was closed. 

It may be well at this point to puncture a few 
bubbles of fantasy which have been widely blown 
about. The Times probably has the distinction of 
having been more generally misrepresented than any 
other newspaper in the United States. Some of 
these misrepresentations are due to malice, some to 
the somewhat painfully widespread inability of mem- 
bers of the human race to beheve in the honesty of 
their fellows; a good many of them, one must sup- 
pose, have no other origin than the myth-making 
instinct whose pervasiveness is perhaps not fully ap- 
preciated by any but newspaper men. The rejuve- 
nated Times succeeded so rapidly and so briUiantly 
that people who could not understand it? success 

186 




ADOLPH S. OCHS, 
August 18, 1896. 



RESTORATION OF THE TIMES, 1896-1900 

found it most convenient to suppose that great sums 
of money had been poured into it from some secret 
and probably discreditable reservoir. Ignorance was 
soon reinforced by hostility; persons who disagreed 
with the conservatism of The Times editorial policy, 
and who were quite unable to conceive the idea that 
a man, and even a newspaper, might honestly be- 
lieve in conservative principles, thought that the ex- 
planation could be found in the theory that The 
Times had been bought by Wall Street bankers. 
It is unfortunately true that a large percentage of 
the all too human race can find no explanation for 
disagreement with its opinions except that those who 
disagree have been bought by somebody. And the 
ascription to various eminent financiers of the honor 
of being the man behind the throne on The Times 
is probably due quite as much to credulity as to 
malice. It is more romantic and entertaining to 
suppose that a newspaper is the mouthpiece of a 
mysterious malefactor of great wealth, who gives his 
orders to its editors in a few pregnant monosyllables, 
than to accept the prosaic truth that it represents 
the views of its owners and conductors. 

In more recent years the legend of British gold 
offered a convenient explanation of The Times^s at- 
titude on the Great War to Irish and German enthu- 
siasts who were used to the idea of subsidized news- 
papers, but the force of this view was somewhat 
diminished when the Irish and Germans extended it 
from The Times to all other American newspapers 
which failed to see in Sinn Fein and Kaiserism the 
sum of human perfection. The secret ownership or 
control of The Times has been ascribed to so many 

187 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

different men that one might suppose some doubt 
would have arisen in the minds of the most credu- 
lous; at any rate they couldn't all own it at once. 
But the number of people who can be fooled all the 
time is regrettably large. 

A few of the more important myths will here be 
cited and explained, in so far as they can be ex- 
plained by anything except the credulity of human 
nature. It is not to be supposed that the explana- 
tions will be accepted by Sinn Feiners, admirers of 
the late Kaiser or devotees of the principles of Karl 
Marx or Nikolai Lenin. To convince these gentle- 
men is beyond the power of human logic. But some 
explanation may perhaps be of interest to the large 
number of readers of The Times who have heard 
these various rumors and have perhaps been in- 
clined to believe them because the paper has not 
thought them worthy of explicit denial. 

President Cleveland, for example, did not bring 
Mr. Ochs up from Chattanooga to set a good Demo- 
cratic paper on its feet. Mr. Cleveland had no more 
idea, when Mr. Ochs came to New York, that he 
was going to buy The Times than did Mr. Ochs 
himself. The only possible basis for this legend lies 
in the fact that when Mr. Ochs found New Yorkers 
somewhat reluctant to accept the views of a man 
about whom they knew nothing, he collected a large 
number of letters of recommendation, as noted 
above, from everybody whose endorsement seemed 
Ukely to be of value. Naturally a recommendation 
from Mr. Cleveland, then in the White House, 
would carry a good deal of weight. The President 
wrote that 

i88 



RESTORATION OF THE TIMES, 1896-1900 

***** in your management of The 
Chattanooga Times you have demonstrated 
such a faithful adherence to Democratic 
principles, and have so bravely supported 
the ideas and policies which tend to the 
safety of our country as well as of our party 
that I would be glad to see you in a larger 
sphere of usefulness. ***** 

This was Mr. Cleveland's sole contribution to the 
reorganization of The Times. 

Of the various bankers who have been mentioned 
as the controlling influence in The Times, August 
Belmont has perhaps the distinction of having been 
named most often. Mr. Belmont, as a matter of 
fact, owned ^25,000 of the debentures of the old 
company, which he exchanged for bonds of the new 
organization, and these bonds were bought by The 
Times long ago, at par, and retired. 

The assertion that he controlled The Times was 
some years ago spread rather widely by the Hearst 
papers, which eventually retracted it when its un- 
truth was demonstrated. It is doubtless often re- 
peated by persons who do not realize how it came 
to be diffused. 

Before the inventive German propagandist sup- 
plied the more brilliant explanation of British gold, 
it was a favorite doctrine of Socialist thinkers that 
The Times was an organ of the Morgan firm. J. P. 
Morgan & Co. held ^25,000 of the debentures of the 
old company, like Mr. Belmont, and like him ac- 
cepted for these obligations an equal amount of the 
bonds of the new company, which were also bought 
and paid for by The Times at par value and retired 

189 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

years ago. Numerous other financiers, traction 
magnates and politicians, shady and otherwise, have 
also figured in these romances, but none of them ever 
owned a dollar's worth of The Times Company stock 
or in any manner had the power to influence the 
policies of The Times, editorial or other. Nor did any 
of them ever get anything out of The Times except such 
information as they may have obtained from its news 
columns or such moral elevation as they may have 
derived from the study of its editorial page. And 
it might be added that none of them was ever in 
a position to control, influence or affect the paper's 
policies. 

But theorists who have been unwilling to display 
favoritism by believing that any one man was the 
secret master of The Times, when so many have been 
mentioned, have cherished the belief that the paper 
was dominated by its bondholders as a group. It 
is not. The outstanding bonds amount to less than 
$600,000. The name of every person or institu- 
tion holding more than i per cent of this not very 
formidable amount may be found on the editorial 
page of the paper, twice a year. These bonds rep- 
resent the residue of an issue of $1,200,000 put out 
some years ago in financing the construction of The 
Times Building after retiring the bonds of 1896. 
The bonds were bought, just as any other bonds 
are bought, by people who thought they were a good 
investment; who believed, that is to say, that The 
Times would be able to pay interest and principal. 
It will be noted that more than half that issue has 
already been retired out of earnings. 

As The Times grew and moved into new quarters 
190 



RESTORATION OF THE TIMES, 1896-1900 

it had to make heavy investments in real estate and 
machinery. The Times Building, like any other new 
building, was mortgaged during its construction. 
The mortgage was placed like any other mortgage — 
because those who made the loan thought that the 
Times Building was a safe risk. It is being con- 
stantly reduced, and is now less than a million 
dollars — on property worth several times that 
amount. So bonds and mortgage, the total in- 
debtedness of the company, amount to something 
like ^1,500,000. The cash resources of the com- 
pany are more than sufficient to pay this off at 
any time. The value of the company's real estate 
and paper-mill properties, entirely apart from plant, 
good will and other resources, is several times the 
indebtedness. So virtually The New York Times 
as a newspaper entity is free of any indebtedness of 
any kind or description. 

Where did the money come from which built up 
the institution ? Aside from ^100,000 of the ^200,000 
of new capital provided by the sale of bonds in 1896, 
it came out of the earnings. Of the money which 
the paper has earned during the last twenty-five 
years, in round figures ^100,000,000, 97 per cent 
has been put into the operation and development 
of the property and 3 per cent has been kept for 
the owners in dividends. There have been com- 
mercial borrowings from time to time, as in any 
business; but the loans have always been paid 
promptly, and in no case were the lenders influenced 
by any other consideration than the belief that they 
would be paid promptly. 

Indeed, why should the owners of The Times 
191 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

submit to outside influence? They own a large and 
prosperous institution, out of debt, which brings 
them in all the income they can reasonably require. 
Quite aside from moral considerations and the 
reluctance which many men feel to sell their souls, 
the owners and controllers of The Times have no 
particular use for '* British gold," or Wall Street 
gold, or any other gold that might be offered for the 
control of the paper. They have all the "gold** 
necessary for their requirements. 

It is perhaps a tribute to the prosperity of The 
Times that it is rarely accused of being controlled 
by its advertisers. It is accused of about every- 
thing else, but this charge would be too obviously 
ridiculous. It may be in order to observe, how- 
ever, that even in the days when it was struggling 
desperately The Times was never controlled by its 
advertisers. Certain advertisers, on occasion, may 
have made eflTorts to influence the business policy 
of the paper. They never succeeded; sometimes 
they withdrew their advertising, but they nearly 
always came back, and came back know^ing that 
they were buying advertising space and nothing 
more. 

The Times is sometimes called the organ of the 
investing classes. The concept of a class organ is 
somewhat more familiar in Europe than in the United 
States, where about its only true exemplars, aside 
from trade journals, can be found in those socialist 
papers which speak for the modest number of sec- 
tarians who consider themselves the whole working 
class. The Thnes can be called the organ of the 
investing class only in the sense that most investors 

192 



RESTORATION OF THE TIMES, 1896-1900 

read it because of the volume and reliability of its 
financial news. Because most investors read it, it 
is the favored medium for financial advertising. 
But financial advertising, like any other advertising, 
buys only advertising space. As a matter of fact, 
the belief that newspapers as a class are controlled 
by their advertisers is a popular delusion not much 
more respectable than the belief that breaking a 
mirror brings bad luck. Breaking some mirrors does 
bring bad luck — in restaurants and barrooms, for 
example; and some newspapers may be controlled by 
their advertisers. The proportion is considerably 
smaller than it was twenty-five years ago, and it is 
growing smaller every year. 

No, The Times is not owned or controlled by Lord 
NorthclifFe or Wall Street bankers or traction in- 
terests or the owners of department stores. It is 
owned by the men and women whose names appear 
in the list of stockholders, officially published every 
six months, and controlled by the owner of its ma- 
jority stock, Adolph S. Ochs. 

As has been said, the ^200,000 obtained by the 
sale of bonds for cash was supposed to provide 
the working capital for the newspaper. Mr. Ochs 
discovered after taking charge that unfunded ob- 
ligations of the paper would eat up half that sum. 
He had, then, about ^100,000 to go on; and that 
is all the fresh capital that has been put into The 
Times since 1896. It has paid its way out of its 
earnings. 

The purpose of the new management was an- 
nounced in the following salutatory published on 

193 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

the editorial page over Mr. Ochs's signature on 
August 19, 1896: 

To undertake the management of The 

New York Times, with its great history 
for right-doing, and to attempt to keep 
bright the lustre which Henry J. Raymond 
and George Jones have given it is an ex- 
traordinary task. But if a sincere desire to 
conduct a high-standard newspaper, clean, 
dignified and trustworthy, requires honesty, 
watchfulness, earnestness, industry and 
practical knowledge applied with common 
sense, I entertain the hope that I can 
succeed in maintaining the high estimate 
that thoughtful, pure-minded people have 
ever had of The New York Times. 

It will be my earnest aim that The New 
York Times give the news, all the news, in 
concise and attractive form, in language 
that is parliamentary in good society, and 
give it as early, if not earlier, than it can be 
learned through any other rehable medium; 
to give the news impartially, without fear 
or favor, regardless of any party, sect or 
interest involved; to make of the columns 
of The New York Times a forum for the 
consideration of all questions of public 
importance, and to that end to invite 
intelligent discussion from all shades of 
opinion. 

There will be no radical changes in the 
personnel of the present efficient staff. Mr. 
Charles R. Miller, who has so ably for 
many years presided over the editorial 
page, will continue to be the editor; nor 
will there be a departure from the general 
tone and character and policies pursued 
with relation to public questions that have 
194 



RESTORATION OF THE TIMES, 1896-1900 

distinguished The New York Times as a 
non-partisan newspaper — unless it be, 
if possible, to intensify its devotion to the 
cause of sound money and tariff reform, 
opposition to wastefulness and peculation 
in administering public affairs and in its 
advocacy of the lowest tax consistent with 
good government, and no more government 
than is absolutely necessary to protect 
society, maintain individual and vested 
rights and assure the free exercise of a 
sound conscience. 

It will be seen that this platform was in large 
degree a reaffirmation of the traditional principles 
of The Times, From the ideal of impartiality of 
news and of discussion the paper had indeed departed 
considerably in its most Republican days, but it had 
returned after its declaration of independence in 
1884. The emphasis upon certain features of this 
newspaper policy, however, was dictated by condi- 
tions of the times. Reference to The Times' s 
appeal to ^'thoughtful, pure-minded people" and 
the promise that news would be given ** earlier than 
it can be learned through any other reliable medium" 
were the first guns in the aggressive war against 
** yellow journalism," which The Times now under- 
took, and which it carried through to entire success. 
But at the outset that fight seemed all but hopeless. 
"Yellow" journalism was a good deal more powerful 
in the nineties than today; and it was a good deal 
yellower. 

Mr. Pulitzer, who had awakened the eighties by 
his development of The World, had been followed and 
imitated in the early nineties by Mr. Hearst, who 

19s 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

made prodigal expenditures of money and was not 
hampered by any of the restraints which modified 
some of the enterprises of his rival. If in some de- 
tails of outward appearance the journals then called 
"yellow" are in our day even more excruciating, 
their character is not so offensive — and it must be re- 
membered, of course, that The World has undergone 
such a development in the last two decades that it long 
ago lost the character of a "yellow" journal as that 
phrase was understood when the "Yellow Kid" car- 
toons first brought it into currency. The World and 
The Journal in 1896 were considered quite deplorable 
from most points of view. But they were prosperous; 
they sold for one cent, and had enormous circulations 
as circulations went in those days; they made a great 
deal of noise about themselves and about each other, 
and attracted a corresponding amount of attention; 
they spent money wildly for new features, or even 
to get news. And they embellished the news with 
such unsavory details as are perhaps less often given 
to the public today, and in any event are less offen- 
sive to the somewhat broader tolerance of our time 
than they were in the nineties. 

The consequent reaction of a considerable part 
of the reading public was very much the same as 
forty-five years before, when Raymond had set out to 
conduct a paper which should be welcomed into the 
homes which found no interest in the trivialities of 
The Sun, and were repelled by the vulgarity of The 
Herald and by what was regarded as the insidious 
immorality of The Tribune, A good many homes, 
schools and clubs deliberately excluded The World 
and The Journal in 1896; but their fierce rivalry, 

196 



RESTORATION OF THE TIMES, 1896-1900 

their reckless expenditure, and even in some degree 
the quality of the brains which they had been able 
to obtain, gave them a certain advantage over their 
competitors. Of the other papers of the period, The 
Sun was brilliantly written, and was read chiefly 
by people who liked brilliant writing. It printed 
as much news as its reporters and correspondents, 
in the pressure of more important business, had time 
to get, and as its make-up men found it necessary 
to admit to the columns as an off^set to literature. 
Aside from that, its energies were principally devoted 
to the contentions that New Yorkers could never 
be persuaded to ride in subway trains, and that 
Whitelaw Reid had driven Horace Greeley to the 
madhouse and the grave. The Herald was a daily 
directory, had an excellent foreign service, but 
otherwise had no particular claim on the attention 
of readers unless they happened to be interested 
in the doings of a somewhat curiously defined 
"society'' or in premature burial, dogs, and more 
dubious topics of interest. The Tribune carried a 
small but genteel stock of Republican ideas, most of 
which had lain for a considerable time on the shelves. 
There was room for a paper whose first object was 
to get the news promptly and publish it with due 
attention to its relative value — a paper so conducted 
that nobody need be ashamed to be seen reading it, 
but containing all the solid content which intelligent 
readers wanted, and for which, in desperation, they 
sometimes had to burrow in the muck heaps of the 
"yellows.'* 

This ideal of The Tirnes was presently expressed 
in the motto "All the News That's Fit to Print," 

197 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

first published on the editorial page on October 25, 
1896, and carried in a box on the front page from 
February 10 of the following year down to the pres- 
ent day. Probably no newspaper motto has ever 
aroused more discussion or more obstinate difference 
of opinion — a difference, it may be observed, 
which is to be found in The Times office as w^ell as 
outside. In its most literal and narrowest inter- 
pretation it of course suggests that terrible crime 
widely discussed under the title of "suppression of 
news." This phrase itself is something of a begging 
of the question, for no newspaper is large enough to 
publish accounts of all happenings even if anybody 
would read them. In every newspaper office every 
day there must be a selection of the most interesting 
or important happenings, as many of them as can 
be crowded into the paper. In the sense that the 
less interesting or important items have to be left 
out there is ** suppression of news'' in every news- 
paper office all the time, as many self-admiring 
persons have discovered. 

"All the News That's Fit to Print," however, 
has been criticised, even by more or less friendly 
commentators, as implying the exercise of editorial 
judgment as to what news may be too horrible or 
obscene for the public — a right which, it is assumed, 
no editor possesses. But no newspaper ever pub- 
lished all the harrowing details of the Armenian 
massacres, for instance. The essential facts were 
published; the decorative trimmings could well be 
left to the imagination. It has been argued that 
if it is news of sufficient importance it is fit to print. 
The Times has never held otherwise. The fact of 

198 



RESTORATION OF THE TIMES, 1896-1900 

an atrocious crime or a deplorable scandal is news. 
The sordid particulars have sometimes a legitimate 
news value, but more often their only appeal is to 
the salacious curiosity. 

The motto has often been contrasted with Dana's 
remark that "whatever Divine Providence permits 
to occur I am not too proud to report." But there 
are certain details of events permitted by Divine 
Providence which have never been and will never be 
printed in The Sun, even though mention of the 
events in a general way may be published as news. 
It is a question of methods, of treatment, of emphasis 
— a fact which may easily be proved by the protests 
which The Times often receives against items pub- 
lished in its columns which seem to some of its 
readers unfit to print. There is often a difference of 
opinion among editors of The Times as to whether 
the unassailable general principle that what is 
news should be printed justifies the inclusion of cer- 
tain details which are of dubious fitness; and no 
doubt the practice of the paper occasionally fails 
to agree altogether with this excellent principle. 
But the influence of the motto is present none the 
less. It has been described as "a silent monitor 
at the copy desk''; and in the course of years its 
influence has been sufficient to keep a good deal 
of contaminating and worthless material out of the 
paper. 

If it be held that a doctrine so difficult to define 
precisely is a rather unsafe guide, it should be re- 
membered that it was first adopted in somewhat 
unusual circumstances. In eff'ect, *'A11 the News 
That's Fit to Print" was a war cry, the slogan under 

199 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

which the reorganized Times fought for a footing 
against the formidable competition of The Herald, 
The World and The Journal. What it meant, in 
essence, was that The Times was going to be as 
good a vehicle of news as any of those papers, and 
that it would be free from their indecency, eccen- 
tricity, distortion or sensationalism. The publisher 
of The Times once answered a question as to what 
news is unfit to print with the brief definition, 
"What's untrue/' A great deal of the so-called news 
published by some of The Times^s contemporaries 
in 1896 was untrue — sometimes, though not very 
often, deliberately invented; more frequently mis- 
handled, edited or colored until it conveyed an 
entirely inaccurate impression. There was to be 
none of this sort of thing in The Times, and so far as 
its editors are humanly able to live up to their good 
intentions, there never has been. Moreover, the 
columns of The Times were not to be filled with 
matter which depended for its interest to the public 
purely on its appeal to prurient cravings or to un- 
warranted suspicion. The motto selected in 1896 
might have been restated as **The news, all the 
news and nothing but the news.'' This was the 
sort of paper, and the only sort of paper, which the 
new publisher of The Times would or could produce; 
it was still to be seen whether he was right in believ- 
ing that New York in the nineties offered a living 
for such a paper, and the experiment was begun 
under a heavy handicap — with an outworn plant, 
a tradition of misfortune and a discouraged staft, 
to say nothing of the general opinion that the new 
venture had little chance of success. 

200 



RESTORATION OF THE TIMES, 1896-1900 

The new publisher was quite as well aware as 
anybody else of the difficulties which he had to face, 
but he was of the opinion that there were some 
counterbalancing advantages which had been over- 
looked by some of the men who had thought The 
Times beyond hope of recovery. In the first place, 
it did have a great tradition. Within the memory 
of many thousands of newspaper readers — indeed 
until a few years previously — it had been one 
of the great newspapers of the country. Its name 
and standing had by no means been destroyed by 
its comparatively brief period of misfortune. In 
a sense, the good will was still there. 

It was not on the surface, of course; it would have 
to be dug out and cultivated, as the experience of the 
previous management showed. Nevertheless, the 
gentlemen who had sold the name and good will of 
the paper for a million dollars in 1893 had, perhaps, 
given better value than they realized. The Times 
had fallen into a situation from which it could work 
out only by showing merit, but once that merit was 
shown it would find a welcome in many homes 
where it had been a valued friend in the past. A 
new paper with a new name would have had to spend 
an enormous amount of money to establish this 
friendly disposition which the new management 
of The Times would find ready to welcome it — if 
The Times could succeed in recovering the attention 
of these readers. 

And it should be observed that the reconstruction 
of The Times involved no change in the essential 
character of the paper. The new pubHsher indulged 
in no eccentric experiments, no efforts to emulate 

201 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

prominent and profitable features of rival publica- 
tions. It is perhaps fortunate that his capital was so 
small, for he did not have the money to do this sort 
of thing, even if he had wanted to. He felt that the 
chief asset of The Times was its character, its tradi- 
tion, its good will. That character was to be pre- 
served. The remnant of old readers who continued 
to buy The Ti7nes because they liked that kind of 
paper were not to be driven away by any sudden 
alteration of the paper's character in the vain effort 
to emulate its competitors. The Times was to be 
the same kind of paper as of old, a kind of paper 
which a large part of the reading public was known 
to like; the changes under the new management were 
intended only to make it a better paper of that kind. 
Another item of value was the paper's staff. 
The new publisher intended to make no changes 
unless experience showed him that change was 
necessary, for he had a high admiration for the 
staff as he found it. Indeed, the men then getting 
out The Times were, on the whole, the men who had 
produced and edited it in the days of its greatness. 
They were no longer getting the results which they 
had got then; but this was due to a complex of 
reasons in which the inexperience of the heirs of 
George Jones, the bad luck of their successors in 
taking over the paper without any working capital 
on the eve of a financial panic, and the lack of a 
sound business organization were most important. 
Given even a little breathing space from importunate 
financial obligations, and a somewhat better direc- 
tion of energy, and they could make it a great paper 
once more. 

202 



RESTORATION OF THE TIMES, 1896-1900 

Nevertheless, the situation was bad enough. 
When Mr. Ochs assumed the control of The Times , 
an old and trusted employe, to whom had been con- 
fided some of the details of the paper's management 
too painful to be widely disseminated, took him into 
his office, unlocked his rolltop desk, and with tears 
in his eyes imparted to the new publisher his shame- 
ful secret. The Times was printing 19,000 copies 
a day, and 10,000 of them were coming back unsold. 
The net circulation was 9000, and it was growing 
smaller every day. Mr. Ochs said something to the 
effect that he thought the circulation would be 
increased before long. '* Increased!" said his as- 
tounded hearer. ** Increased! Mr. Ochs, if you 
could keep it from going down any further you'd be 
a wonderful man." 

However, the new pubhsher set to work to see 
what he could do. One item of waste which was 
soon reduced, though it was a long time before it was 
entirely eliminated, was the printing of papers that 
came back to the office old paper bin from the news 
stands where they had vainly waited for purchasers. 
While staying in New York and making arrange- 
ments for the purchase of The Times Mr. Ochs had 
noticed that at the news stand he patronized he was 
always offered The Sun, At first he felt rather 
flattered at the idea that the keen-eyed newsdealer 
had judged him to be the sort of man who would 
want The Sun; for this was in the height of Dana's 
fame as a producer of newspaper literature, and to 
be seen reading The Sun was, at that time, a mark of 
intellectual distinction. But inquiry discovered that 
the newsdealer was actuated by a more sordid 

203 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

motive. The Sun circulation system allowed no 
returns; and in consequence the first thing the news- 
dealer thought of was to sell off his stock of Suns, 
When they were gone he could turn to the distribu- 
tion of the other papers with the restful assurance 
that such copies as he could not sell could be sent 
back to the office and would cost him nothing. It 
seemed to Mr. Ochs, upon reflection, that the papers 
which permitted the return of unsold copies were in 
effect supplying the capital for the promotion of 
The Sun. 

So The Times first reduced the return privilege to 
lO per cent, presently abolished it entirely for the 
Saturday issue with the literary supplement, and 
eventually eliminated it altogether. Thereafter the 
bills for print paper could be paid with the consoling 
assurance that, at any rate. The Times was paid for 
every copy sent out to the newsdealers. Meanwhile 
the new pubKsher had been finding his way about the 
office. He had the idea that the essentials of success- 
ful newspaper publishing were pretty much the 
same in New York and in Chattanooga; that, as he 
afterward expressed it, the best policy was '*no 
poHcy" — a rehance on honesty, industry and un- 
hampered judgment. In time this doctrine proved 
its worth by its practical success, but it seemed so 
strange at the time that years afterward the editor 
of another New York paper said that Mr. Ochs had 
come to town and '* taught us something new." It 
did not seem so to him; he thought he had merely 
reminded New York newspaper men of something 
they had forgotten. 

In a sense, of course, that statement could be 
204 



RESTORATION OF THE TIMES, 1896-1900 

applied to the rise of almost any successful news- 
paper. Perhaps the history of journalism could be 
expressed in a formula of rotary motion. Every 
twenty years or so somebody achieves a great success 
by digging up an old truth that had been discarded. 
One truth rediscovered on The Times in the nineties, 
however, has perhaps a more generally useful applica- 
tion than the secrets of the success of other news- 
papers. This is the ancient but still somewhat 
surprising fact that thorough knowledge and un- 
remitting dihgence are likely, barring accident, to 
bring results. The new publisher of The Times, 
who had come from the interior of the country to 
undertake the solution of a problem which to veterans 
of New York journalism seemed entirely hopeless, 
was regarded by a good many observers as a man 
with more money than brains — a judgment which, in 
view of the actual state of his fortunes, was anything 
but complimentary. But he knew every department 
of the newspaper business from the ground up. 

It was his opinion that The Times staff, as it then 
existed, was as competent and well equipped a body 
of men as could be found on any newspaper in the 
country, and that the paper could be rehabilitated 
by those men. What they needed was more co- 
ordination and a little more enthusiasm. Too many 
of the subordinates had allowed themselves to slip 
into a groove and were conducting their own particu- 
lar duties in a routine grown familiar with years of 
practice without paying much attention to the 
relation of their work to the whole. Men were apt 
to stick to themselves and ignore what went on 
about them. 

205 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

The arrival of the new publisher brought a good 
deal of encouragement to men at the top who had 
become acquainted with him and had caught some- 
thing of his enthusiasm, but for most of the staff 
enthusiasm had to wait for acquaintance. When Mr. 
Ochs came in with the intention of turning The Times 
around and starting it uphill the majority of the 
staff watched him with interest, but at first without 
any great amount of confidence. He was a new man 
and unknown, and he had undertaken a job which 
seemed to be too much for anybody. He was wel- 
come, because the ruin of the paper, without some 
new stimulus, seemed only a question of time; but 
it was still to be seen if he could give it that stimulus. 

As for the pubhsher, he experienced a certain 
difl&dence as he began to famiHarize himself with his 
new associates. He was now set as commanding 
officer over men, a good many of them older than 
himself, of whom he had been hearing for years with 
a certain amount of awe. These great names of 
New York journalism had resounded rather thunder- 
ously in Chattanooga, and it required a considerable 
time for Mr. Ochs to get over his conviction that they 
were persons of a somewhat different order of pro- 
fessional eminence, or that, at any rate, they were 
New Yorkers, while he was fresh from a small town. 
Nevertheless, he set to work to invigorate the staff, 
to inspire it with new courage, and to find out in the 
meantime what was the matter with The Times. 
Much was done from the very first in bringing the 
members of the staff together; but it may serve as an 
illustration of the necessity of beginning pretty 
much from the ground up that the pubhsher found 

206 



RESTORATION OF THE TIMES, 1896-1900 

that one of his first tasks was to educate the staff 
into reading the paper. 

They were induced to read The Tifnes by the 
somewhat roundabout expedient of giving to each 
man the task of comparing each day's issue of The 
Times with one of its contemporaries. The pub- 
Hsher had discovered that the writers had preferences 
among the other morning papers, and he assigned 
each man to find out every morning what his pet 
paper had discovered that was unknown to The 
Times, It perhaps goes without saying that this 
task of comparison was already part of the work of 
the news department; it was laid upon the editorial 
council for purely educational reasons. And it 
worked. Before long the men who were reading 
The Times because they had to know if it had been 
beaten on the day's news found themselves compelled 
to admit that there was a good deal in it that was 

worth reading. , • i u j 

This instance may illustrate the work which had 
to be done in coordinating the work of the various 
members of The Times stafF. The work was done, be- 
cause there was a directing influence to see that it was 
done; and before long The Times had an organization, 
still rudimentary, but more deserving of the name 
than anything it had ever known before. There 
was a man at the head who understood the work 
of every department from his own experience, and 
who not only knew whether that work was being 
well done, but had been able to inspire the workers 
with a more vivid interest in the welfare of the whole 
institution. And another element in their confi- 
dence, perhaps of slower growth, was the realiza- 

207 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

tion that the new chief was in complete and abso- 
lute control, unhampered by any external influences 
whatever. It is unfortunately true that outside 
influence on many newspapers has been — a past 
tense is used because this condition though still 
existing in some newspaper offices, is much less 
general now than it used to be — so strong that 
a good many newspaper men of wide experience 
find it hard to believe that it is not universal. 
The Times has had a good deal of difficulty in 
persuading some of its employes that news is not 
to be handled in deference to editorial policy, just 
as it had trouble in the nineties in convincing them 
that news was not to be treated with a view to the 
supposed prejudices of influential outsiders. The 
new publisher was to a certain extent regarded for 
a time as the representative of the men who had 
sunk their money in The Times a few years before; 
and it took time for the employes to realize that he 
was conducting it himself, without any orders from 
outside. When they did realize it, as he took care 
they should, it gave a tremendous impetus to the 
industry of a staff* which had been afraid of shadows 
for some time past, and now at last began to realize 
that they were only shadows. 

Meanwhile there had been some experiments 
with the contents of The Times. Certain depart- 
ments had continued for years by the force of in- 
ertia, and it was suspected by the new publisher 
that they no longer served any useful purpose. One 
of the daily features of the paper was a feuilleton, 
which Mr. Ochs suppressed as soon as he took charge. 
The paper happened on that dav to be publishing the 

208 



RESTORATION OF THE TIMES, 1896-1900 

next to the last instalment of a continued story. 
Mr. Ochs did not want fiction, and he insisted that 
the story stop right there, but was persuaded to let 
the concluding chapters appear next day. 

It is true that the largest newspaper circulation 
in the world has been built up by the Petit Parisien 
on the basis of serial fiction and human interest, and 
it is true that even so dignified a paper as the Temps 
lately gave up much of its scanty space to the serial 
publication of Florence Barclay's novel, "The Ros- 
ary." But, aside from the question of the differ- 
ence in French and American ideas of a newspaper, 
it must be remembered that the American institu- 
tion of the popular fiction magazine is unknown in 
France. The newspapers are both newspapers and 
fiction magazines, in effect. Whatever may or may 
not have been the increment in circulation gained 
by various American newspaper magazine sections 
through the publication of fiction, it may be doubted 
if any American paper ever accomplished much by 
printing fiction in its daily issue, unless it be that 
peculiar type of fiction which is written for and 
found only upon the woman's page of evening news- 
papers. At any rate. The Times never suffered from 
its abandonment of the popular fiction field to the 
new venture of Mr. McClure, which was just then 
opening a new epoch in American magazine history. 

Another department which was abolished was the 
detailed report of prices in the commodity markets. 
Again Mr. Ochs found dissent from his opinion that 
these had no place in The Times, and that people 
who were interested in this item were a good deal 
more likely to get it out of the trade papers. So 

209 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

strong was the opposition of the circulation depart- 
ment to the abandonment of this feature that the 
pubHsher finally decided to try dropping out these 
reports a little at a time. A stick here and a stick 
there, the space given to commodity markets was 
reduced without any expected clamors of protest from 
readers who had learned to look for it every morning. 
At last, when four whole columns of what is techni- 
cally known as "punk" had been excised from the 
paper. The Times did hear from a subscriber at 
Haverstraw, who wrote that he missed the quota- 
tions on naval stores. And that was all. It was 
demonstrated to be a sheer waste of valuable space. 
Some of this material eventually found its way 
back into the paper, but in better form. Where the 
new management found a legitimate field of the news 
which existing papers had left uncovered it took up 
and gave some attention to it, but there was to be 
no more competition with trade journals on their 
own ground. And when "punk" came back, the 
deadening routine which had gradually deprived 
these old departments of their usefulness had dis- 
appeared. It is probable that by the publication 
of the complete court calendars, for instance. The 
Times has gained a considerable number of readers, 
and the great development of the page of business 
news, which began early in the history of the present 
administration but grew gradually through many 
years, has made The Times the favorite daily of 
many men in businesses which are served by extraor- 
dinarily good trade papers. But the entire process, 
both of subtraction and of addition, has been a 
matter of special judgment in individual cases. If 

2IO 



RESTORATION OF THE TIMES, 1896-1900 

an existing department seemed to be serving no use- 
ful purpose, it went out; if the addition of a new 
department promised to justify the effort and ex- 
pense, it was introduced. How to decide what was 
needed and what could be abolished? Well, it is 
betraying no trade secret to say that this was a 
matter of judgment based on experience. 

But the mere cutting out of dead wood was only 
a part, and a small part, of the work. The rise 
from 9000 to 3 50,000 was not accomplished by mere 
elimination of useless items, nor by tightening up 
the business office, estabhshing a sound accounting 
system and cutting losses. There had to be some 
positive achievements. One of the most useful of 
these was the wide advertisement of the policy ex- 
pressed in the motto, "All the News That's Fit to 
Print." That motto, when adopted, aroused a good 
deal of discussion which was fostered and abetted 
by the management of the paper. For some months 
a huge electric sign at Twenty-third Street and 
Broadway made known to the passing throng the 
legend of The Times, There were some editorial ex- 
positions of the ideals expressed by the motto, and 
after these had made Times readers famihar with the 
intentions of the new publisher a prize of ^100 was 
offered for any ten-word motto which seemed bet- 
ter to express those ideals. Richard Watson Gilder, 
editor of the Century ^ was asked to act as judge in 
the contest, which brought out some 20,000 sug- 
gestions, of which 1 50 were thought good enough to 
publish. The prize was given to **A11 the World's 
News, but Not a School for Scandal"; but to the 
editors of The Times this did not seem as satisfac- 

211 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

tory as their own device, so though the inventor 
of this motto got his $ioo, **A11 the News That's 
Fit to Print" continued to be the motto of the 
paper. All this attracted a certain amount of at- 
tention to the new methods on an old paper, and 
a certain number of readers were drawn to buy The 
Times and find out what all the disturbance was 
about. It is hardly necessary to say that the ad- 
vertisement would have been useless if they had not 
discovered, on examining The Times, that it was 
living up to its promises; that it was giving the 
news and presenting it with sanity and decency. 

Meanwhile some new and valuable features had 
been added to the paper. The first of these, and 
one of the most important, was the illustrated Sun- 
day magazine, first published as part of the Sunday 
paper on September 6, 1896, three weeks after Mr. 
Ochs took control. Newspaper Sunday magazines 
in that day were distinguished chiefly by the so- 
called comic supplement — a feature which The 
Times has never had, never needed, and never de- 
sired. The magazine section, in the narrower sense 
of the word, was also influenced chiefly by the "y^l" 
low" journals; the type is still represented by some 
belated survivals, rather less flamboyant than 
twenty-five years ago. Against this The Times 
oflPered a pictorial supplement printed on good coated 
paper and illustrated with half-tone photographs. 
It was as great an advance in its day as the more 
recent rotogravure pictorial supplement, and it gave 
a real illustrated news magazine to the New York 
newspaper public. 

This magazine was popular from the very first. 
212 



RESTORATION OF THE TIMES, 1896-1900 

Perhaps its greatest accomplishment was the publi- 
cation of the pictures of Queen Victoria's jubilee in 
1897. Fifty photographs of the procession on June 
22 were bought at 10 guineas apiece from the offi- 
cial photographer and rushed to New York; and on 
July 4 The Times Illustrated Magazine published 
sixteen pages of them. They were not only pub- 
lished in The Times before any other New York paper 
had them, but they were well printed so that the 
reader could see what they were — something which 
a reproduction on ordinary newsprint could hardly 
have accomplished. That feat, which cost altogether 
^5000 — a considerable sum to The Times of 1897 
— is still remembered in the office as one of the first 
of a long series of beats, and it added greatly to the 
reputation of the illustrated magazine. But week 
in and week out that magazine was widely prized; 
and when it was discontinued in September, 1899, 
after three years of existence, chiefly because The 
Times had attained so large a circulation that the 
magazine could no longer be produced by the inade- 
quate plant then available, it left a good many 
mourners, who only in recent years have found an 
adequate substitute in the present pictorial and mag- 
azine supplements of the Sunday paper. 

Perhaps the most important service of that maga- 
zine in the long run was its effect on other news- 
papers, many of which were inspired to imitate it. 
This was true in a still higher degree of the next 
feature of the rejuvenated Times — the Saturday Re- 
view of Books, first published on October 10, 1896, 
and edited then and long afterward by Francis W. 
Halsey. In this publication was carried out an idea 

213 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

of the publisher of The Times that a newspaper book 
review should be a literary newspaper, treating 
newly published books as news and containing be- 
sides other news of literary happenings. While open 
to criticism from several standpoints, the treating of 
books as news is certainly more in accordance with 
the function of a daily newspaper, as well as some- 
what easier to do well, than more serious effort at 
literary criticism. And in The Times Saturday Re- 
view the news of the literary world was assembled and 
presented better than ever before in an American daily. 
Moreover, the new tabloid form, with the excellent 
typography and good quality of paper used, attracted 
the attention of readers to book news which they 
might have passed by in the columns of the regular 
edition. 

As an example of the conviction of students of 
Hterature that it did meet a long-felt want may be 
cited the action of Professor C. Alphonso Smith, 
then at the Louisiana State University, who required 
all members of some of his classes in English Hterature 
to take The Times Book Review in order to keep up 
with current events in the literary field. This pub- 
Hcation, too, has since been imitated, and in some 
instances improved upon, but in 1896 it was a new 
idea which once more made the New York public 
realize that something was happening on The Times. 
Its ultimate service to the cause of book reviewing 
in the United States — a cause which still needs all 
the help it can get, but which is considerably better 
off than it was in 1896 — was perhaps even greater 
than its contribution to the well-being of The Ti^nes. 

For a considerable time, indeed, it seemed that 
214 



RESTORATION OF THE TIMES, 1896-1900 

this new publication was to be a gratuitous and dis- 
interested contribution to American letters. It 
found immediate favor with readers, but not with 
advertisers. Book publishers argued that when the 
book reviews were embodied in the regular news 
columns of the paper, as had previously been the 
custom, they and the adjacent advertising would be 
seen by the general reader; whereas if they were 
segregated in a special supplement they would re- 
ceive the attention only of the limited and presum- 
ably impecunious section of the reading pubhc which 
was interested in books. Only very slowly did the 
publishers realize that people who were interested in 
books were more likely to buy books when they had 
any money to buy them with than those who irri- 
tably turned over the sheet in order to escape from 
the book reviews to the sporting news on the next 
page. After the first pubKsher tried the experi- 
ment of advertising in the Book Review others soon 
followed, and before long the publication was pay- 
ing its way. 

There were disadvantages about the publication of 
the literary supplement on Saturday. It had to 
be in the form of loose sheets, folded into the 
rest of the paper. If the reader did not want the 
Book Review he merely opened up the paper and 
let the sheets flutter out — and they fluttered well. 
The Saturday morning paper, naturally, was read by 
people on their way downtown to work. Those who 
didn't care to carry the Book Review about with 
them — they rarely failed to "look over" it — let it 
blow away in the wind, so one morning the man- 
agement of The Times was attracted, and rather ag- 

215 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

grieved, by a cartoon in Life entitled **The Littery 
Supplement," and depicting a citizen desperately try- 
ing to struggle out of an elevated station through a 
heap of discarded sheets of The Times Saturday 
Book Review. 

This was publicity, though not of the most favor- 
able sort; but it was finally decided that the Book 
Review would go better with the Sunday paper, in 
most instances delivered at the home, where it could 
be conveniently laid aside for reading at leisure. 
Once more, however, the book publishers were dis- 
turbed by the change. Some of them had scruples 
against advertising in a Sunday paper. One or two 
publishers held out for a little while and insisted on 
advertising only in the regular issue of Saturday; 
but their rivals soon began to get results which 
gradually drew all the book advertising into the Book 
Review supplement to the Sunday edition. 

The more recent history of The Times Book Re- 
view is another matter. Superficially, its combina- 
tion with the magazine section may seem to be a 
reversal of the principle on which the literary sup- 
plement was originally separated from the body of 
the paper; but the present-day Book Review and 
Magazine is still in a process of development whose 
event, it is hoped, will justify the belief of the man- 
agement of The Times that a still better literary 
newspaper is attainable than has ever yet been pro- 
duced. If the history of the various transforma- 
tions of The Times literary supplement shows any- 
thing, it shows that books are, generally speaking? 
bought by the people who like to read about books; 
and that hterary advertising will bring results if 

216 



RESTORATION OF THE TIMES, 1896-1900 

placed alongside literary news, wherever that may be. 

Still another feature was added to The Times on 
November 8, 1897, in the weekly financial review 
which was published for a number of years there- 
after as a supplement to the Monday morning paper. 
Each of these additions to the paper brought new 
readers, and others were constantly being attracted 
by the slow and steady improvement of the quality 
of the paper. 

Another innovation of the new management was 
the giving over of much of the space allotted to 
letters from readers to the views of those who dis- 
agreed with the editorial opinions of the paper. This 
was not wholly a novelty in American journalism, 
but The Times now began to do it on a scale previ- 
ously unknown. Not so very many years before 
1896 most American newspapers {The Times among 
them) had been reluctant to print even news which 
did not accord with editorial poHcy. That time had 
passed, and the new management of The Times now 
made a point of opening its columns to the presen- 
tation of views on any side of any subject, as a 
matter of news and as a contribution to the forma- 
tion of well-grounded opinion. Almost all decent 
newspapers do that now, but it was a novelty in 
the nineties. 

It has, perhaps, some perils; certain inveterate 
self-advertisers have nothing to do but flood the 
columns of all newspapers with their letters, and if 
the editors occasionally feel that other people have 
a right to be heard these correspondents at once 
conclude that they are being suppressed for un- 
worthy reasons. Also, if a book review opens its 

217 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

correspondence page to all comers, that page is likely 
to be filled with complaints from authors who feel 
that the reviewers did not do justice to their works. 
Nevertheless, the practice is now universally recog- 
nized as useful and necessary, an opinion which was 
a rarity in the days when The Times first began to 
invite letters from people who disagreed with it. 

The editorial page was as good as ever. In the 
campaign of 1896, when the paper supported the 
Gold Democratic ticket of Palmer and Buckner, 
The Times^s editorial arguments for sound money 
were powerful and effective. The publisher and the 
editors took the issues of that campaign so seriously 
that they all marched in the great gold parade, the 
biggest New York had ever known; and they had 
the satisfaction of feeling at the end of the cam- 
paign that The Times^s editorial attitude had counted 
for a good deal in the sound money discussion. 
The improvement of the news columns in the direc- 
tion of impartiality, which had made much progress 
since the secession of The Times from the Republi- 
can Party, was carried still further under a new 
pubHsher who was interested in politics only as an 
external observer and good citizen. The loss of 
subscribers had been stopped; in the first year and 
a half of the new management the circulation had 
more than doubled; and the deficit was now rapidly 
approaching the vanishing point. 

Advertising was coming to the paper in increasing 
amounts. It had been the boast of Mr. Jones that 
no man had ever been asked to subscribe to The 
Times or to advertise in The Times, If he chose to 
do either, that was his own affair; but nobody 

218 




LOUIS WILEY, 
Business Manager. 



RESTORATION OF THE TIMES, 1896-1900 

would give him any provocation. Whatever the 
merits or demerits of this attitude, the time for it 
had passed by 1896. If a newspaper owner of that 
period chose to regard his paper as something which 
he pubhshed for his own personal pleasure there was 
considerable danger that the public would respect 
his reticence. The new management of The Times 
had space to sell for legitimate advertising, which 
in its opinion would satisfy the purchaser and give 
him his money's worth, and they did not regard it 
as beneath their dignity to tell him about it. 

Nevertheless, certain types of advertising were 
from the first carefully excluded. While not all 
patent medicines are kept out of The Times^s ad- 
vertising columns, the rules adopted under the new 
management were so strict that almost all of this 
matter was automatically rejected. Patent medi- 
cine advertising was much more general, of course, 
twenty-five years ago; today it survives in a few 
metropolitan journals of somewhat antediluvian 
standards, and is a welcome guest of many publi- 
cations in the smaller towns. Some of it is legiti- 
mate advertising, but so much of it is not that The 
Thyies felt that its publication could do no good, 
while in many instances it did positive harm. 

Word puzzles and similar schemes in which prizes 
were offered for something which looked easy, but 
was generally impossible of accomplishment, were 
also excluded. Persons who offered something for 
nothing, who guaranteed the cure of illnesses or the 
payment of large dividends, also found themselves 
compelled to display their wares in other papers. 
It was and is the conviction of the pubHsher of The 

219 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

Times that honesty is the best poHcy, and that busi- 
ness success cannot be securely founded on misrep- 
resentation and fraud. There is doubtless a consid- 
erable part of the public which will always be too 
stupid to know that it is being deceived, or too list- 
less to care; but The Times was not aiming at that 
class of readers. 

It has sometimes been objected that discrimina- 
tion against objectionable advertising should logically 
be carried to the point of investigating all advertis- 
ing before publication. The Times does not do this. 
It does investigate all advertisements as to which it 
has any reason to entertain suspicion; and if the 
suspicion remains after investigation, even though 
nothing is proved, the reader is given the benefit of 
the doubt and the advertising is excluded. The 
principles above mentioned result in the wholesale 
exclusion from The Times of those classes of adver- 
tisements in which there is most likely to be mis- 
representation. In other fields a sharp watch is 
maintained for fraudulent advertising, with results 
which may be fully appreciated if The Times\^ finan- 
cial advertising, for example, be compared with that 
of some of its contemporaries. 

Elimination of questionable material is, of course, 
considerably easier in financial than in mercantile 
advertising. In this latter field it has seemed to 
The Times that the exercise of ordinary vigilance is 
about all that can be expected of a newspaper. The 
newspaper may do a good deal in the suppression of 
improper claims by advertisers, but it cannot do all 
the reader's thinking. 

Two instances of rejection of advertising by The 
220 



RESTORATION OF THE TIMES, 1896-1900 

Times, very early in the history of the present man- 
agement, deserve special notice. As permitted, 
though not enjoined, by the election laws of 1896, 
the Board of Aldermen in that year voted that the 
complete canvass of the vote in the city should be 
published in six daily newspapers. The Times was 
one of the six papers selected, but it promptly at- 
tacked the decision as a waste of public money and 
urged that pubhcation be confined to the one paper 
mandatory under the law — which would not have 
been The Times. This report was of enormous vol- 
ume, and its publication, at the ordinary rates, would 
have brought to every paper carrying it some ^33,600 
— a total of over ^200,000. The Times needed $33,- 
600 rather badly just then, but it decHned the 
advertisement in an editorial which called the elec- 
tion canvass '*a waste of pubHc money." The mem- 
bers of the Board of Aldermen professed to be 
startled and horrified by the discovery that the ex- 
pense would be so heavy. Certainly they were 
horrified by this proclamation to the public that 
so much money was being thrown away, and the 
publication was finally reduced to the smallest 
amount permitted by law, none of which came to 
The Times — a result, of course, which had been ex- 
pected. 

Some months later all the regular advertising of 
the city government was unexpectedly offered to 
The Times. This amounted to about $150,000 a 
year, a sum which would have made a tremendous 
difference to The Times of that period. Moreover, 
assurances were brought to the management of the 
paper by a gentleman who was a friend both of the 

221 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

publisher and of the Tammany leaders that this offer 
was made with absolutely no strings. It was neither 
the expectation nor the desire of Tammany that 
The Times should feel itself influenced in any way, 
and it was understood that the allotment of the 
advertising did not in any way involve a modifica- 
tion of The Times^s general hostility to Tammany in 
local politics. The only reason for this sudden wind- 
fall, said the gentleman who brought the news, was 
the conviction of the Tammany leaders that it was 
a good thing for the general interests of the Demo- 
cratic Party to have a conservative Democratic 
paper maintained in New York Cit}^ That paper's 
feelings about Tammany did not enter into the case. 

The publisher of The Times had entire confidence 
in the good faith of the gentleman who gave him 
these assurances, and saw no need for questioning 
the good faith of the Tammany leaders. For 
whether or not their intentions were honorable, 
their proposal was unacceptable. It was asking too 
much of human nature to suppose that thereafter 
when The Times had reason to attack Tammany, 
as it certainly would (its exposures of graft pay- 
ments for gambling-house protection were not very 
far in the future), the subconscious, if not the con- 
scious minds of those in The Tifnes office might be 
aflPected by the thought that ^150,000 was at stake. 
By that time the paper might have got accustomed 
to living on a higher scale, and would have missed 
the ^150,000 more than if it had never had it. More- 
over, The Times was still far behind its rivals in cir- 
culation. If this considerable revenue were suddenly 
awarded to the smallest in circulation of New York 

222 



RESTORATION OF THE TIMES, 1896-1900 

morning papers, everybody would believe that Tam- 
many had bought The Times, no matter how pure 
the motives of the organization or of the paper's 
management. The shadow was as bad as the sub- 
stance, in this case; from any point of view the offer 
was unacceptable. 

Years later, in Mayor McClellan's administration, 
The Times was designated for a large part of the city 
advertising — the greater part mandatory in con- 
nection with condemnation proceedings in the mat- 
ter of the Ashokan water supply. By that time the 
paper's circulation was large, and was growing by 
leaps and bounds. Its revenues were also large and 
increasing; there could no longer be any serious sus- 
picion that The Times had reason to sell its soul for 
advertising patronage, and its selection as an adver- 
tising medium was a natural choice, for that selec- 
tion had in the meantime been made by great num- 
bers of private advertisers who had found that ad- 
vertising in The Times would sell their goods. 

Principles of this sort temporarily cost the paper 
a good deal of money. But on the whole it was 
fighting its way slowly back to prosperity. In its 
antagonism to "yellow" journalism it was beginning 
to find a good many friends. It was not alone in its 
attack upon the methods of The Journal and The 
World; The Sun and The Press, for example, made 
much more of a crusade out of it. But their effort 
was chiefly destructive; they devoted a good deal of 
space to attacks upon the personalities and prac- 
tices of the "yellow" press. The Times was less con- 
cerned in holding up to the public view infamies 
already quite apparent to those who were capable 

223 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

of being disturbed by them than in demonstrating to 
persons who did not like "yellow'* journalism that 
The Times was the sort of paper they wanted. 

The "yellows" fought back, of course. The World 
graciously referred to some of its journalistic critics 
as "doomed rats strugghng in a pit," and endeavored 
to make it clear that a monopoly of journaUstic 
purity was possessed by The World. In The World's 
opinion. The Times was owned by the trusts; it had 
been bought up by Wall Street speculators for their 
own selfish purposes. The basis of this legend, 
started in a quarter where it would probably be 
promptly repudiated today, was the very moderate 
amount of obligations of The Times held by certain 
bankers mentioned in the earher part of this chap- 
ter. The World, o( course, saw some advantages in 
circulating the suspicion that Mr. Ochs was not solely 
directing The Times, and it chose to regard him, 
and to speak of him, as "caretaker of the deficit." 

The Times was making its way, slowly, but with 
increasing sureness among those who were disturbed 
by the tendencies of The World and The Journal. It 
was advertised by the assertion that "It does not soil 
the breakfast cloth." And this negative virtue no 
less than its positive excellences was winning it 
new readers all the time. Mr. Jason Rogers of The 
New York Globe has said that "If ever a newspaper 
was built brick upon brick, through the recommen- 
dation of one reader to a friend who was not yet 
reading. The New York Times was so built." This 
description, which could be generally applied to the 
growth of The Times in the last twenty-five years, is 
especially accurate as a description of the paper's 

224 



RESTORATION OF THE TIMES, 1896-1900 

recovery in its first year and a half under the new 
management. It might have gone on growing at 
this steady pace, with no sudden mutations of for- 
tune, had it not been for an event which, if not ex- 
actly unforeseen, could hardly have been provided 
against, which subjected the paper to an almost 
ruinous strain, and put it in jeopardy from which 
there was no escape but by the desperate expedient 
that, almost overnight, made its fortune. This 
event was the Spanish War. 

The very first issue of The Times, on September 
1 8, 1 85 1, had carried an editorial on the Cuban 
question. Crittenden's filibusters, who had gone to 
aid the Lopez rebellion, had lately been captured and 
shot, and the rising itself had been put down. The 
Times saw in the failure of the Lopez rising proof 
that the Cubans did not want independence, and it 
opposed the annexationist agitation of that day on 
very sohd grounds. For of course the Cuban ques- 
tion, in the fifties, was only part of the larger ques- 
tion of the slave empire of the Golden Circle. An- 
nexation was desired by those who wanted another 
slave state, and opposed in the North precisely be- 
cause that was the motive of those who wanted it. 
Even the article above referred to took a couple of 
paragraphs to explain that Americans would al- 
ways sympathize with any people struggling to be 
free. 

By 1898 the Cuban question was on a wholly dif- 
ferent basis. Cuba was no longer a partisan interest 
in American politics, nor was there any doubt as to 
the popular support of the revolution which had be- 

225 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

gun in 1895. The Times had held in Cleveland's 
Administration, and in the first year of McKinley's, 
that the distress and disorder in the island must be 
ended, and that if they could not be ended by Spain 
on a basis satisfactory to Cuba there might be 
need of American intervention. As the situation 
became more critical The Tifties editorial page dis- 
cussed the right of intervention according to inter- 
national law, coming to the conclusion that the 
United States Government would undoubtedly be 
justified in taking that step, should it prove impos- 
sible to settle the Cuban question by other means, 
on the ground of safeguarding the peace and safety 
of our own people who could not be persuaded to 
sit quietly by while the Cubans were fighting for 
freedom. President McKinley afterward acknowl- 
edged that these articles had been of great value in 
helping him to clarify his own views about the rights 
and duties of our Government in the crisis. In the 
weeks leading up to the declaration of war The 
Times had maintained a temperate attitude, hoping 
that some satisfactory solution might be reached 
without hostilities, but insisting that the Cuban 
question must now be settled, and finally settled. 
When the course of the war brought unexpected ac- 
quisitions of territory in the Pacific and the Carib- 
bean, The Times could see little merit in the argu- 
ments of the anti-imperialists. In its opinion there 
was not much use talking about the desirability of 
expansion. Expansion had happened; it had come 
as an incident in an apparently inevitable historical 
development; and it had to be accepted as a fact. 
Mr. Bryan's zealous anti-imperialism only rein- 

226 



RESTORATION OF THE TIMES, 1896-1900 

forced in the minds of the editors of The Times the 
impression that his attitude on the currency had al- 
ready created, and his personaHty and the two major 
issues which he had selected led The Times to give 
its support to the Republican Presidential ticket in 
1900, for the first time in sixteen years. 

But if The Times's editorial reaction to the issues 
of the Spanish War honorably carried on the tradi- 
tions of the paper's history, the other departments 
found the war all but disastrous. Advertising fell 
off ruinously in the spring and summer of 1898, 
when a good many excitable persons expected to be 
awakened any morning by the roar of Cervera's 
guns bombarding Coney Island. This loss, borne 
by all the papers, naturally fell with particular 
weight on the one which was just beginning to strug- 
gle back to financial security. The Times, indeed, 
managed to enliven the early period of the conflict 
by a private war of its own with certain advertisers. 
The North German Lloyd Steamship Company had 
sold a vessel to the Spanish Government, for use as 
a troopship or converted cruiser. The Times ob- 
served editorially that whatever the legal aspects of 
this sale of war material to the enemy, it was pretty 
poor business in the North German Lloyd thus to 
affront the people which was its best customer. 
This observation stirred up a too zealous official of 
that company not only to withdraw his own adver- 
tising from The Times, but to endeavor to persuade 
other steamship lines to follow his example, on the 
ground that this was unwarranted and intolerable 
criticism of a foreign transportation company. 

This coming to the attention of The Times, its 
227 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

editors were moved to the comment, several times 
repeated on the editorial page, that this transaction 
involved something which looked very much Hke 
criminal conspiracy. The right of the North Ger- 
man Lloyd to withdraw its own advertising was con- 
ceded, but when it attempted to form a combination 
against The Times it was taking a pretty long chance. 
The German line had chosen a highly unpopular 
issue, and before long friends of its managers were 
coming to The Times office and begging the paper 
to let up on them. The attempted combination was 
abandoned. Even if the German line had been suc- 
cessful, the loss of steamship advertising would have 
made no very great diminution in the income of any 
newspaper; but just then, in 1898, The Times needed 
all it could get — and indeed a good deal more. 

Nor was it able to recover any of the lost ground 
on the basis of enormous increases in circulation. 
Some increase there was; The Times was growing 
from week to week — but growing slowly. And the 
war had suddenly forced it into a situation where it 
could not hope to compete against its more prosper- 
ous rivals. 

The Spanish-American War was probably, from 
the viewpoint of a certain type of newspaper man, 
the most convenient war ever fought. It was a little 
war; it was a short war, and it was near at hand. 
Nor had there been any great conflicts in recent 
years which might have overshadowed it or enabled 
the country to view it in proper perspective. And, 
though the fighting was on a small scale, the issues 
were indeed important — important to the whole 
country. Here was a war, almost on the front door- 

228 



RESTORATION OF THE TIMES, 1896-1900 

step, in which a people which had been at peace for 
a third of a century had an overwhelming interest. 
This alone made it a tremendous news story. More- 
over, it did not last long enough for the enthusiasm 
of the early weeks to be cooled. It was brilliantly 
successful; there were no defeats to sober the coun- 
try, no long casualty lists to divert attention. Its 
history could be, and was, what was called a few 
years later a "glory story.** 

And, above all, it was a war on a small scale. It 
was not so big that the doings of the armies over- 
shadowed the competitive enterprise of the news- 
papers. As a happy hunting ground for war corre- 
spondents it has seldom been equaled. The arma- 
das of dispatch boats loaded with reporters, feature 
writers and photographers sent down by some of 
the New York papers were about as formidable as 
Sampson's fleet, and their doings took up pretty 
nearly as much space in dispatches. As for the 
campaigns ashore, the readers of some papers might 
justifiably have been in doubt whether the war was 
primarily a field for the doings of eminent person- 
ages who had volunteered from civil life or a con- 
venient arrangement for exploitation of the famous 
correspondents who happened to write about the 
eminent personages. The fact that a battle had been 
fought, and that we had won it, was less important 
than that Mr. A, the renowned politician, and Mr. 
B, the noted Yale halfback, had taken part in the 
battle; and this again was of less consequence (ac- 
cording to some newspapers) than that the doings 
of Mr. A and Mr. B had been reported by the fa- 
mous correspondent X, and depicted by the cele- 

229 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

brated artist Y. And before the public had time to 
tire of this sort of thing the war was over, and every- 
body but the few thousand victims of "canned 
horse" and the Cuban cHmate had come home. 

In all this The Times had no part, for the painful 
reason that it had no money. It was laboriously 
paying its way; it could manage to meet current ex- 
penses, but it could not plunge into any of the wild 
expenditures undertaken by the more prosperous 
New York papers. As an example of what those 
papers which could afford it were doing may be 
mentioned The Herald's dispatch of some 2000 words 
on the night of July 3, which alone of special dis- 
patches to individual newspapers brought, in time 
for publication next morning, the details of the de- 
struction of Cervera^s fleet. It was filed at Port 
Antonio, Jamaica, for transmission via Kingston 
and Panama, and to take precedence of the hun- 
dreds of thousands of words of press dispatches piled 
up at the Port Antonio telegraph office it was sent 
at double the commercial rates, prepaid, the total 
cost being ^3.25 a word, paid in gold. 

The Times could not do this or anything like it. 
Even dispatch boats and special cables were an im- 
possible luxury. When the news came The Times 
displayed it as intelligently and satisfactorily as 
anybody, and its editorial comment on the news 
was sound and well informed; but the news itself 
was everybody's news — it came from The Associ- 
ated Press. The Times did, indeed, have a little 
mail correspondence, but that counted for nothing 
in a time when the victories of Schley and Shafter 
were less important in themselves than the oppor- 

230 



RESTORATION OF THE TIMES, 1896-1900 

tunities which they afforded for shrieking headhnes, 
signed cablegrams in twelve-point full face and 
smudgy pictures by staff artists. The Times was 
still a good newspaper, but it couldn't compete in 
calling the attention of the public to its excellence. 

So the end of the war found the management of 
The Times facing the possibiHty that the work of 
the past two years had been in vain. The meagre 
hundred thousand dollars of operating capital with 
which Mr. Ochs had started was gone, and the re- 
ceipts of the paper, though gradually improving, were 
not sufficient to make it up. It was apparent that 
something had to be done, but when the pubUsher put 
forward his idea of the proper remedy many people 
thought that it meant sudden and irretrievable ruin. 
He proposed to cut the price to one cent. It had 
been forty-seven years since The Times had sold at 
that price, and the one-cent field among morning 
newspaper readers had long been left to The World 
and The Journal, It had come to be the general 
opinion that that was the sort of thing people wanted 
for one cent; that those who thought that no news- 
paper was worth more than that would be quite 
content with what was offered them and had no ap- 
petite for anything else. 

The publisher thought otherwise. It was his be- 
lief that a great many people who found the differ- 
ence between three dollars and ten dollars for a year's 
newspaper bills sufficient to be worth considering 
were reading The World and The Journal only be- 
cause they were cheap. Give them a choice and a 
good many of them might prefer a paper of the char- 
acter which The Times had established. It was not 

231 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

to be doubted that there were a good many objec- 
tions to the proposal. There would be an immediate 
and considerable decrease in circulation revenue, 
though at the low price of paper in those days it 
would still be possible for The Times to get more 
than enough income from a one-cent circulation to 
pay for the paper on which the news was printed. 
The question, of course, was whether the circulation 
would increase sufficiently to bring in advertising. 
There was a danger that advertisers who had been 
used to regarding The Times as appealing to a con- 
stituency small in quantity but high in quality 
would come to the conclusion that it had merely 
lowered the quality without corresponding increase 
in quantity. What The Times hoped to do was to 
increase the quantity while retaining the same qual- 
ity. 

In other words, it did not expect to cut in on the 
natural field of The World and The Journal. It was 
not going to be a "yellow" journal; it was not going to 
compete for the favor of those who wanted "yellow" 
journals. Mr. Ochs said in an interview published 
in a trade paper a few months later (January, 1899): 

Such papers as The World and The Journal 
exist because the public wants them. I 
hold that some of their features are open to 
criticism, but each of them has done infi- 
nitely more good than harm. 

It was quite clear to the publisher of The Times 
that there was a large part of the one-cent public 
which wanted precisely what it was getting for one 
cent. The question which could be decided only by 
trial was whether there might be also a part of the 

232 



RESTORATION OF THE TIMES, 1896-1900 

one-cent public that wanted something of a differ- 
ent sort. And The Times resolved to find out. 

In the editorial announcement of the change of 
price on October lo, 1898, some of the aspects of the 
matter as they appeared to The Times management 
were stated as follows: 

It is the price of the paper, not its char- 
acter, that is changed. In appealing to a 
larger audience The Times by no means pro- 
poses to offend the taste or forfeit the confi- 
dence of the audience it now has, already 
large, discriminating, and precious to it as 
lifelong friends. That statement we make 
in full sincerity and with firm resolution. 
We wish to make it with all possible empha- 
sis, so that no reader of The Times in the 
past need scan the columns of this morning's 
issue, or of any subsequent issue, with the 
least misgiving or apprehension lest the re- 
duction in price may be concurrent with a 
lowering in tone and quality. The old 
readers of The Times and the new shall find 
it a clean, truthful, carefully edited news- 
paper at one cent, a paper that recognizes 
its obligation to give its readers all the 
news, but values its own good name and 
their respect too highly to put before them 
the untrue or the unclean, or to affront 
their intelligence and their good taste with 
freaks of typographic display or reckless 
sensationalism. . . . 

During the past two years The Times 
has made a large advance in circulation. 
. . . No paper, however, ever increases 
in circulation fast enough to satisfy its con- 
ductors. It has seemed to the management 
of The Times that while the growth of its 
233 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

sales was steady and substantial, it was too 
slow; that, while its circulation has reached 
a large figure for a newspaper of its charac- 
ter, it ought to be larger. . . . 

The proposition that many thousands of 
persons in this city of three and one-half 
million souls buy and read one-cent news- 
papers chiefly on account of their price and 
not on account of their character and qual- 
ity seemed sound. We believe these thou- 
sands would like to read a newspaper of the 
character and quality of The Times in pref- 
erence to, or let us generously suppose in 
conjunction with, the papers they have been 
reading. The Times has determined to ex- 
tend its appeal beyond those readers with 
whom quality is indispensable and price a 
matter of no consequence to the presumably 
much larger number of persons to whom 
both price and quality are of consequence. 

This emphasis on the unaltered character and 
quality of the paper now offered at one third of the 
former price was terribly necessary. Many readers 
would be certain to feel that only a "yellow" paper 
could be produced for one cent and would look with 
cynical eagerness for the expected deterioration in 
quality. Indeed, this view seems to have been held 
by some people in The Times office. On the night 
the change was announced one of the reporters 
came in with what he joyfully heralded to the night 
city editor as "a beautifully sensational story." It 
did not appear in the paper; indeed, the publisher 
afterward observed that he wouldn't have had a 
"sensational" story in that day's issue for any con- 
sideration. And, little by little, doubting readers 

234 





i 11 t£ 

#1 



THE PRESENT HOME, 

THE TIMES ANNEX, 

WEST 43RD ST.— TIMES SQUARE. 



RESTORATION OF THE TIMES, 1896-1900 

of The Times became convinced that their fears were 
needless. It was the same paper they had been 
getting; nothing had been changed but the price. 
Some unfriendly comment, however, was occa- 
sioned by the change, and for other reasons. It 
must have been known to anybody in the news- 
paper business in New York that the editorial ob- 
servation of October lo that **it has seemed to the 
management of The Times that while the growth of 
its sales was steady and substantial, it was too slow," 
was certainly not an overstatement. Newspaper 
men pretty generally suspected what was indeed 
the fact, that The Times had virtually been driven 
to the step; and there were some who ungenerously 
attributed it to base reasons. A gubernatorial cam- 
paign was going on at the time, and the newspaper 
was supporting Augustus Van Wyck, the Demo- 
cratic candidate. The suspicion not unnaturally 
sprang up in many minds that this reduction of in- 
come was only possible because there was some 
compensating revenue which had suddenly been 
opened to the paper. Only one newspaper. The 
Evening Mail, came boldly out and said that The 
Times had been subsidized by Tammany; and when 
The Times promptly called that paper to account, it 
as promptly apologized. But the suspicion per- 
sisted among some readers, and one of them, who 
was frank enough to express his opinions in a letter 
to the editor, was answered by an editorial state- 
ment which pointed out that it would be rather 
transparently stupid to take this step in the middle 
of a political campaign if its reason were that which 
the political position of the paper might suggest. 

235 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

Stronger than the conviction that The Times had 
sold out to Tammany was the belief of most 
practical newspaper men that this meant the be- 
ginning of the end. The changes of price in the 
eighties, which had such unhappy results, were re- 
called, and it seemed to be the general conviction 
that The Times would find it impossible to retain 
its quality at one cent. The Tribune and The Her- 
ald, whose comments on the change were in a 
friendly tone which bore evidence of the more civ- 
ilized spirit which was coming into New York jour- 
nalism, nevertheless expressed their conviction that 
high quality could not long be given at low price. 
One may surmise that their conviction was perhaps 
strengthened by the fear that if it were possible, 
their own readers might wonder why they couldn't 
do it; and though the suspicion is perhaps ungen- 
erous, one cannot help feeling that the friendly tone 
of their references to the subject was perhaps due 
to the conviction that this meant the speedy disap- 
pearance of an old rival. 

More gratifying to The Times, among the numer- 
ous remarks on the change in other papers, were 
those of The Philadelphia Record, which expressed a 
belief based on its own experience that The Times 
would find, as The Record had found, that it was 
possible to be both decent and cheap. Since The 
Record, selling at one cent, was at that time one of 
the most profitable newspaper properties in the 
country, this encouragement was welcome as a hope- 
ful token of what might be ahead of The Times, 

And The Record's prediction was right. At first 
the reduction applied only to sales in the city; out- 

236 



RESTORATION OF THE TIMES, 1896-1900 

of-town customers still paid three cents, as they 
had paid before. But with the announcement came 
an immediate demand from these subscribers for a 
reduction of The Times to two cents out of town, 
which was the price charged in those parts for The 
World and The Journal. It had been the intention 
to make this change eventually; it had been delayed 
because the presses were barely able to take care of 
the increased city circulation anticipated from the 
reduction. But the protests of out-of-town sub- 
scribers made it apparent almost at once that there 
was opportunity to make great gains in that field 
also. The change was made one week after the 
original announcement, with the assistance of other 
papers who lent The Times the use of part of their 
mechanical plant until its own could be appropri- 
ately expanded. It might be remarked for the bene- 
fit of the nonprofessional reader that newspapers 
have always, even in the days of their most bitter 
vituperation of each other, been ready for such re- 
ciprocal assistance in case of any really serious need 
— a fact which might have suggested to their read- 
ers long before the smoke began to blow away that 
a good deal of the harsh language was emitted 
merely for the joy of battle. 

The Times^s circulation began to jump. It no 
longer climbed slowly and laboriously; it vaulted 
from pinnacle to pinnacle. Less than a month 
showed that the reduction of price had done all that 
had been hoped, and it continued to do more in the 
following months. The most skeptical eventually 
had to admit that the quality of The Times was as 
good as ever — indeed, better than ever, for the re- 

237 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

newed prosperity of the paper made it possible to 
spend more money for news. And the gain in cir- 
culation was astounding. In September, 1898, the 
daily average circulation was 25,726. In Septem- 
ber, 1899, one year later, it was 76,260. There are 
few if any parallels to this sudden rise in American 
newspaper history. 

The gain in advertising was commensurate. In 
1898 the advertisements printed amounted to 2,433,- 
193 agate lines. In 1899 they had risen to 3,378,750. 
And the increase had not been accompanied by any 
loss in character. Some of the advertisers supposed 
that the drive at a one-cent circulation meant re- 
duction of rates, since the increase in circulation 
might be offset by the lower buying power of the new 
readers. It did not seem so to the management of 
The Times; in a single month, shortly after the 
change, more than ^50,000 worth of advertising was 
refused because it was offered below the regular 
rates of the paper. The Times was preparing to 
build up a high-class constituency at a low price. 
It succeeded amazingly, and long before it had 
achieved the full measure of its intent the late An- 
drew Carnegie, as shrewd a judge of values as ever 
came from Scotland, pronounced it '*the best cent's 
worth in the world." 

It may be admitted that when the change was 
made it was not supposed by the management of 
The Times that the one-cent price would be long 
retained. Newspapermen in the latter part of 1898 
knew that The World and The Journal^ by their 
enormously expensive competition, which came to a 
climax in the covering of the Spanish War, had 

238 



RESTORATION OF THE TIMES, 1896-1900 

eaten heavily into their profits. The fight was 
beginning to cost more than it was worth, and it was 
generally understood that the papers were preparing, 
by agreement, to raise their price to two cents. 
When that time came, The Times was going to two 
cents with them; but the management believed that 
it would be more profitable to come up to two cents 
than down to it — that most of the readers who 
had learned to like The Times at one cent would stay 
with it when the price was increased, especially as 
there would be no one-cent morning papers left. 
But The World and The Journal, faced with this 
sudden and amazingly vigorous competition in their 
own field, did not dare to try it; they were quite 
possibly afraid that if they went to two cents The 
Times would stay at one cent and attract many of 
their readers. As suggested above, the publisher of 
The Times was not of this opinion; but since his 
competitors stuck to the old price he did the same, 
and there was no change until the unprecedented 
expenses of the World War, nearly twenty years 
afterward, forced all the morning papers to go back 
to two cents. 

From the morning of October lo, 1898, the pros- 
perity of The Times was assured. It had turned 
the corner and the old penniless days were soon to 
become only a memory. It was thereafter only a 
question of the degree of the paper's success, and it 
presently increased beyond the dream of any one 
in the office. Of the fact of success there was never, 
from the end of 1898, any doubt. 

Though the rate of progress was slower for a few 
years after that, the progress was without inter- 

239 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

mission. So well was The Times getting ahead that 
the paper was able in 1900 to undertake at an expense 
of ^50,000 the publication of a special edition at the 
Paris Exposition. This younger sister of The New 
York Times, to which it bore a very strong family 
likeness, was published within the Exposition 
grounds in June, July, August, September and 
October under the editorship of George W. Ochs, a 
brother of the publisher. It showed the French 
a good deal about American newspaper methods and 
aroused their respect, even if it did not excite their 
emulation, and it furnished American visitors to the 
Exposition with a plentiful supply of home news and 
world news such as they were quite unable to get 
from the old established competing publication 
which devoted most of its space to the doings of the 
European aristocracy and the mathematical per- 
plexities of the Old Lady from Philadelphia. It was 
a good newspaper, and it was an excellent advertise- 
ment for The New York Times. 

By this time, however. The Times was getting 
to the stage where it hardly needed any longer to 
advertise itself. Its reputation was attending to 
the advertising. The general belief among the 
newspaper men of 1896 that The Times could 
not be revived had been so strong that some of 
the paper's competitors did not realize that it was 
catching up with them until it was some distance 
ahead. 

The old United Press, which had been maintained 
at heavy expense by The Sun, The Herald, The 
Tribune and The Times, and whose drain on The 
Times's resources had done a good deal to bring 

240 



RESTORATION OF THE TIMES, 1896-1900 

the paper into its financial misfortunes, went to 
pieces soon after the new management assumed con- 
trol of The Times. The Times, The Herald and The 
Tribune at once applied for admission to The Associ- 
ated Press, then incorporated under the laws of 
Illinois, and The Herald and The Tribune were 
admitted with full rights and privileges, but The 
Times was able to get in only as a sort of stepchild, 
on what was known as a Class B membership, with 
no right of protest. Fortunately for the paper, the 
Supreme Court of lUinois decided in 1900 that 
The Associated Press was a public utility and com- 
pelled to furnish its news to anybody. This forced 
a reorganization under the laws of New York. Mr. 
Ochs, through his Chattanooga Times membership, 
was one of the leading members of The Associated 
Press and had been active in the work of the organ- 
ization. Now that there was to be a reorganization 
in New York, The Times received full membership, 
and he was welcomed to the councils of the leaders 
and became one of the charter members of the new 
body. And for twenty years past he has been a 
member of the Board of Directors and of its Execu- 
tive Committee. 

By that time the prosperity of The Times was 
securely established, and the reorganization com- 
mittee was dissolved on July i, 1900. The 3876 
shares which had been held until the publisher 
should have made the paper pay its way for three 
consecutive years were transferred to him. The 
experiment, regarded as hopeless by all the experts, 
had succeeded in less than four years, and it was 
already evident that bigger things were ahead. In 

241 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

this recovery many men played their parts, but the 
contribution of the new pubHsher may be suggested 
by the remark made, years later, by one of the 
veterans of The Times staff: ''He found the paper 
on the rocks, and made them foundation stones." 



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CHAPTER II 

Conservatism, Independence, Democracy: 
1900-1914 

/^N September i8, 1901, The Times celebrated 
^^ its golden jubilee, which was commemorated on 
September 25 in a special historical supplement 
whose publication was deferred for a week on account 
of the funeral of President McKinley. The ad- 
vertisements published in that supplement, 224 in 
number, were all representative of firms which had 
been doing business in New York City on September 
18, 1 85 1, and ever since, a convincing demonstration 
that even in this city of rapid and enormous changes 
there was still a commercial substratum of old tradi- 
tions with prospects of something like permanence. 
In the editorial comment on the anniversary there 
was of course some discussion of the changes in the 
character of journalism between 1851 and 1901, the 
chief of which was the extensive publication by 
papers at the beginning of the twentieth century of 
what may be called ** personal news," the chronicle 
of happenings in the lives of individuals themselves 
of no great importance. The reading public had 
become interested not only in the big news, in public 
affairs and events of great importance, but in the 
reporting of things on which the reader could make 
the comment, '*That might have happened to me." 
It might have been supposed in 1901 that the 
243 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

development of the art of news-getting in future 
decades would be chiefly in this same direction. But 
the editors of The Times suspected even then that 
this was not wholly true, for in their editorial re- 
marks on the future of the paper they gave their 
principal attention to the ** alliance for mutual 
benefit" which had just been concluded with The 
London Times — an arrangement of which more 
will presently be said — by which The New York 
Times obtained all rights to the world news service 
of its English contemporary. Said a Times editorial 
article on the jubilee day: 

The occasional triumph known in the lingo 
of journalism as a '*beat" may shed a fleet- 
ing lustre on the name of a newspaper. 
Of those The Times has had its share in 
the half century of its life. But the daily 
habit of gathering into its columns from 
the four corners of the earth all the news 
which vigilance and faithful eff*ort can 
obtain and in which intelligent minds are 
likely to be interested gives enduring char- 
acter and reputation and determines the 
public judgment. 

And indeed the remarkable growth of The Times 
in the following years was largely due to its diligence 
in obtaining, and sound judgment in handling, the 
big news, much of it foreign news. This had been 
notably true even before the outbreak of the war 
of 1914-1918 gave to American journalism a test 
from which The Times emerged perhaps more bril- 
liantly than any of its competitors. Even so early 
as 1901 it was apparent that the American people 
were in the world, whether they liked it or not; 

244 



CONSERVATISM, INDEPENDENCE, 1900-1914 

that the long introversion of the decades after the 
Civil War had at last come to an end. The world 
was visibly drawing into a closer interrelation, and 
the years between 1901 and 1914 were to see the 
development of a peaceful internationalism, an 
assimilation of all nations, or at least of the upper 
and middle classes of all nations, to a common 
standard of life, such as had not been known since 
the Roman Empire broke down. 

It was to be the destiny of The Times to find its 
most brilliant opportunities in responding to the 
demands of this new age for news from far wider 
fields than those in which the majority had had any 
interest in the latter part of the nineteenth century. 
The isolation of the seventies and eighties, an isolation 
always more apparent than real, had ended when 
Dewey's guns boomed in Manila Bay. *' Personal 
news'' had reached its utmost popularity in the 
nineties; with a new era of international peace it 
may once more come back, as it has begun to come 
back since the war, to overshadowing importance; 
but the editors of The Times in 1901 judged rightly 
the tendencies of the age which was beginning. For 
a third of a century the American people, like some 
orders of mediaeval monks, had been trying to 
find peace by gazing at its own navel, and it was 
just awakening to the discovery that the world 
contained sights of somewhat more absorbing 
interest. 

The Times set forth upon this new era in the 
enjoyment of a higher degree of material prosperity 
than it had ever known in its best days of old. Its 
paid circulation in its jubilee month averaged 

245 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

102,472 per day — a stupendous figure by the 
standards of Raymond and Jones, but one which the 
conductors of the paper could already see was only 
a beginning. Even they hardly realized in 1901 
that the circulation of The Times would reach the 
figures of today, which are seldom much below, and 
often above, those of its most aggressively ** popu- 
lar" contemporaries in New York morning journal- 
ism. That some New York papers have a circula- 
tion of 300,000 or 400,000 a day is not surprising; 
the only surprising circumstance is that they do 
not sell a million a day, for there is nothing in them 
which anybody cannot understand. That a paper 
such as The Times, which, though not aiming ex- 
pressly at a limited number of intelligent readers, 
does give up its pages rather to the news of general 
interest and high importance than to items which 
tickle the fancy, should have a circulation of 350,000 
is somewhat more remarkable, and those who produce 
The Times may be pardoned if they regard it as 
rather encouraging for the future of a democracy 
which is likely to get into a good deal of trouble 
unless it knows what is going on. 

The Times in 1901 was firmly on its feet; it had 
won back its old position and somewhat more. 
The history of that recovery has been told; the 
chronicle of the years that were to come before the 
outbreak of the World War is a somewhat different 
story, the story of the paper's emergence from the 
crowd, so to speak, to a position which may at least 
be described as that of a primus inter pares in the 
prompt and reliable presentation of the news of the 
world. Some of the war cries of the earlier years 

246 



CONSERVATISM, INDEPENDENCE, 1900-1914 

were to be heard less frequently in the future. The 
crusade against "yellow" journaHsm, for example, 
gradually died away. There was no longer so much 
need for a crusade, for the bright orange journalism 
of the nineties was, in some quarters at least, slowly 
fading into a somewhat more respectable color. 

The Times had of course contributed a good deal 
to the war against "3^ellow" journalism, but its war 
aims were of a somewhat different sort from those 
of its associates. To use a terminology familiar 
to present-day readers, it was not fighting a war of 
conquest or annihilation. It might aspire to some 
disannexations of those portions of the reading 
public which had been attracted into the sphere of 
influence of the ''yellow" journals, though they right- 
fully belonged to The TimeSy but that had been 
accomphshed by the reduction of price in 1898. Its 
conductors never had the desire which was apparently 
cherished by some of their contemporaries to blot 
out certain others. 

The object, and the only object, of The Times^s 
criticism of "yellow" journaHsm was to famiharize 
every newspaper reader with the fact that The Times 
would give him what its conductors regarded as the 
good elements that were to be found in their more 
sensational contemporaries, and would give them 
at the same low price, without the other features 
which many readers found objectionable. It was 
their purpose to see that nobody should read the 
"yellows'* under the misapprehension that there and 
there alone could he get the news, and get it for 
one cent. When this fact had been advertised, 
when everybody knew what The Times offered, then 

247 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

it was the reader's business to decide what kind of 
paper he wanted. After that The Times was con- 
tent with the steady growth-that came year by year 
as more and more readers came to find The Times 
more satisfactory than the papers which had pre- 
viously been their favorites. 

The history of this intervening period between 
1900 and 1914 can perhaps best be told in compart- 
ments; by taking up first the editorial views of The 
Times and their reactions on the public, then the 
development of the news side of the paper, and 
finally some episodes in its business history which 
are pertinent to the story of the paper's rise to 
power, and interesting also as having some bearing 
on the rising ethical standards of the newspaper 
business. 

The Times' s position as an independent Democratic 
newspaper was maintained in the early years of the 
twentieth century, with the qualification that it was 
somewhat more independent than Democratic. For 
Mr. William Jennings Bryan The Times has never 
had much admiration, except in so far as it wel- 
comed him as imparting to politics something of 
that character, at once hilarious and consecrated, 
which the Rev. Dr. Billy Sunday gives to religion. 
The Times supported the Republican Presidential 
ticket in 1900 because at last the Republican Party 
had been driven into genuine support of the sound 
money issue, and because the Republicans, though 
by no means united in their opinion on the future 
duties and responsibilities of the United States as a 
world power, were free from that academic sort of 

248 



CONSERVATISM, INDEPENDENCE, 1900-1914 

anti-imperialism which pleased Mr. Bryan. Mr. 
McKinley, though by no means a giant among 
statesmen, was learning more about the business 
of being President, and his latest utterances indi- 
cated that he understood some of the demands of 
the day a little better than the gentleman who so 
soon was to succeed him. 

For Mr. Roosevelt's character, energy and patriot- 
ism The Times always had the highest respect, and 
its editors would not deny that on the whole he 
was an immensely valuable asset to the America of 
his time. But the President of the United States 
has to be not only the worshiper and preacher of 
ideals but an official performing certain functions. 
For many of Mr. Roosevelt's actions The Times 
had only praise, but its editors were inclined to 
think that the effect of much of his radical teachings 
went a good deal further than he himself would 
have liked to believe, and they could not fail to note 
that one of the great problems of the time, tariff 
reform, was an issue when he came into office and 
an issue that had got no further forward when he 
went out. 

The Democratic Party in 1904 had repudiated 
most of the heresies which Mr. Bryan had raised 
to the level of dogmas, and seemed to be turning 
back toward the sounder positions of Cleveland's 
day. The Times accordingly supported Alton 
B. Parker. As in 18^72 and 1880, the people were 
once more inclined to trust the Republican Party, 
and unhappily the Democratic leaders seemed to 
think after the defeat of 1904 that the only way to 
overcome Roosevelt's popularity was by adopting 

249 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

his doctrines. When Mr. Bryan was once more the 
Democratic candidate in 1908, The Times supported 
Taft, but the betrayal of pledges by the Republican 
Party which followed immediately drove away from 
it all its independent supporters, as well as a con- 
siderable fraction of the party membership. In 
the agitation which beset the Democratic Party 
during the years when every aspiring politician 
had his eye on a nomination that carried more 
prospect of election than those of previous cam- 
paigns, The Times was chiefly interested in keeping 
the party from running ofF the track. In the pre- 
convention campaign of 191 2 it had no favored candi- 
date, but when it became apparent that the nominee 
must be either Woodrow Wilson or Champ Clark 
The Times declared its opinion that Mr. Wilson was 
as well equipped for the Presidency as any man the 
party could nominate, and considerably better 
equipped than any one else whose nomination could 
be regarded as a possibility. After the convention 
Mr. Wilson believed, and said in a telegram to the 
publisher of The Times that that editorial had greatly 
contributed to his nomination. His record as 
Governor of New Jersey, his speeches during the 
preconvention campaign, and the character of much 
of his support had marked him as a radical candidate. 
Some of the leaders In the Baltimore convention 
believed, or allowed themselves to be convinced 
by enemies of Mr. Wilson, that the conservative 
elements in the party would not support him if he 
was nominated. These fears were blown away by 
this editorial in The Times. If the leading conserva- 
tive paper in the party, a paper which had shown its 

250 



CONSERVATISM, INDEPENDENCE, 1900-1914 

independence by supporting the Republican candi- 
date in two elections out of the last three, was satis- 
fied with Mr. Wilson, there could be no fear of any 
serious bolt. 

The Times was not wholly in sympathy at that 
time with Mr. Wilson's ideas of government, but its 
conductors realized that the choice lay between 
him and Champ Clark. Speaker Clark's conserva- 
tism, in the opinion of The Times, consisted rather in 
a certain antiquity of manner, and a resolute in- 
difference to things that had happened in recent 
decades, than in any real understanding of conserva- 
tive ideas; and Mr. Wilson's intellectual equipment 
was so far superior that The Times thought it wiser to 
trust a man competent to fill the Presidential office, 
who might be expected to learn as he went along. 

The subsequent history of The Times^s editorial 
support of President Wilson is sufficiently well 
known. No newspaper ever gave an administration 
more loyal support; no favors were received In re- 
turn and none would have been accepted. The 
Times has never been willing to pose as an amplifying 
transmitter for whispers from the lips of authority. 
To become recognized as the mouthpiece for any 
administration would have meant the surrender in 
some measure of the paper's independence, or at 
any rate of its reputation for independence; It would 
have required a somewhat different attitude on the 
part of its conductors, a complaisance toward ten- 
dencies in the administration with which they were 
dissatisfied, a willingness to shut their eyes to some 
things that existed, and to pretend to see things 
that were mere figments of the imagination. 

251 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

But it may be said by critics of the Wilson 
administration that on the major issues of these 
eight years the paper supported the President. It 
did so in many cases because it happened to agree 
with the President. The Underwood-Simmons tariff 
The Times regarded as the most satisfactory that 
had been enacted in many years, and for Mr. Wil- 
son's services to the country in obtaining the passage 
of the Federal Reserve act it felt that no praise 
could be too high. There was much room for 
criticism and dissatisfaction in Mr. Wilson's first 
year, but, as a rule, on minor points. Mr. Bryan's 
disruption of the diplomatic service, for example, 
was deplorable in itself, but it was part of the price 
of the Federal Reserve act. Had Mr. Bryan been 
left outside the administration that enactment 
might have been impossible over his opposition. 

In the principal crises of the later years of Mr. 
Wilson's administrations The Times supported the 
President because the choice was not between Mr. 
Wilson and ideal perfection, but between Mr. Wilson 
and concrete alternatives which seemed less desirable. 
In the opinion of its conductors he was a President 
who rose to most of the unusually heavy responsi- 
bilities laid upon him, and on the dominant issues of 
his day took a position against which nothing could 
be said except that he was perhaps a few years ahead 
of the average voter. And in its editorial summary 
of his eight years in office, on February 27, 1921, 
The Times took the position that Mr. Wilson had 
been a great President, whose true importance and 
usefulness would be increasingly apparent as time 
went on. As was said in that article: 

252 



CONSERVATISM, INDEPENDENCE, 1900-1914 

It made a world of difference whether 
throughout the war and at the end of the 
war we had in the White House a common 
man, or a man above the common. A Presi- 
dent content to patch up the shattered 
world and set it spinning again in the old 
grooves would have been overlooked alto- 
gether. He never would have helped the 
nation to find its soul, he would not have 
found his own. ... As if by predestination, 
when the war came, one was at the post of 
duty and of trial who, by his gifts and 
abilities, seemed to be designated above all 
others for a service such as no American 
had ever before been summoned to under- 
take. 

Yet, because the paper was not always able to 
agree with the administration, it incurred the usual 
inconveniences of those who see some right on both 
sides. To most Republicans it was a rabid Demo- 
cratic paper, to be abhorred for its partisanship; 
and by thick-and-thin, for-better-for-worse adherents 
of Mr. Wilson, it was accused of damning the ad- 
ministration with faint praise. 

Most of the matters, however, on which The Times 
criticised those in office between 191 3 and 1921 were 
questions outside the President's own field of activity. 
The election of 191 2 had brought not only Woodrow 
Wilson but the Democratic Party into power, and 
on many issues the President was wiser than his 
party. The criticism has been made that The Times 
was a consistent supporter of Wilson, yet was 
opposed to almost everything that Wilson did. 
That is a mistake. The Times was a consistent 
supporter of Wilson, though disagreeing with his 

253 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

attitude on some of the less important issues of his 
administration; its opposition was for the most 
part directed against the eccentricities of the Demo- 
cratic majority in Congress, which the President 
was often compelled, for political considerations, to 
ignore, or to meet with an acquiescence which must 
at times have come hard. 

It may be asked, then, why The Times in recent 
years has consistently supported the Democratic 
Party. The answer is, first, that the publisher of 
The Times is a Democrat not by geography — 
though Mr. Ochs spent his early life in Tennessee, 
his father had been a Captain in the Union 
Army — but by conviction, and so is its editor-in- 
chief, Mr. Miller, who comes from New Hampshire. 
But that answer, after all, does not explain much, 
for there are no longer very many Democrats left 
in the Democratic Party. That party once meant 
something; it meant that one of the great political 
organizations of the country believed that the 
people in a democracy could better be trusted, in 
the long run, than any group whatever of benevolent 
oligarchs, and that the federal organization of the 
United States was more than a mere historical acci- 
dent — that it met the needs of a numerous people 
occupying a country of enormous extent, with wide 
differences in natural conditions and in the public 
sentiment of far distant localities. In that sense 
the conductors of The Times are among the few 
Democrats surviving. And it might be added that 
this fundamental concept of the Democratic Party's 
philosophy explains the fact that the two chief 
Democratic papers of the country. The Times and 

2S4 



CONSERVATISM, INDEPENDENCE, 1900-1914 

The World, can both be Democratic while disagreeing 
on most details. The World is liberal and The Times 
conservative, but they are agreed in the opinion 
that the union of these states is and of a right ought 
to be a Federal union, as well as in the view that 
political wisdom and capacity for government, even 
if not bestowed very liberally on the people at large, 
are not to be found more highly concentrated in any 
particular economic, religious or geographic sub- 
division of the people. 

These doctrines were once the distinguishing 
mark of a Democrat. They are now conspicuous 
chiefly by their rarity; about the only distinction 
between a Democrat and a Republican today is that 
the Democrat is generally out of office. The cen- 
tralizing movement of recent years, which has pretty 
well blotted out state lines and tended to turn over 
the control of Government more and more to bureau- 
crats, has been promoted quite as much by Demo- 
crats as by Republicans. The Republicans, to be 
sure, have been inclined to favor oligarchies whose 
claim to superiority was their possession, real or 
pretended, of executive ability; while the Demo- 
crats have generally bowed down before oHgarchies 
of pretended superiority of moral virtue. But 
whether the favored few are protected manufacture 
ers or officials of the Anti-Saloon League, the effect 
is the same. 

What is the duty of a Democrat in such a time? 
It might be held that his motto should be, "My 
party, right or wrong; if right, to keep it right; if 
wrong, to make it right." The Times has not been 
able to go quite so far as this; sometimes the Demo- 

255 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

cratic Party has been so wrong that the only way 
to make it right was by supporting the RepubHcan 
ticket. But, generally speaking, the conductors of 
the paper have believed that the Democratic Party 
needed all the intelligent support it could get and 
all that could conscientiously be given by those who 
hold to the old Democratic doctrines. So long as 
old-fashioned JefFersonian Democrats and conserva- 
tive Democrats found it possible to stick to the 
party they could act as a brake on the exuberant 
and misdirected energies of those Democrats whose 
chief representative in recent history has been Mr. 
Bryan. By clinging to the party and doing their 
best to remind it that it is, or ought to be, some- 
thing more than a mere aggregation of jobless poli- 
ticians, these Democrats could perhaps do a real 
service to the country in holding the party to certain 
standards, and thus making it a really effective 
check on the Republicans. 

For the genius of the Democratic Party shines 
best in adversity. Out of office the party often dis- 
plays public spirit and sometimes real statesmanship. 
Once in control of the Government, the Democrats 
are likely — in the opinion of the management of 
The Times — to forget their own principles and be- 
come mere imitators of the Republicans. Opinions 
may differ as to whether it is admirable to be a Re- 
publican, but certainly it is better to be a real Re- 
publican than a poor carbon copy. Republicanism 
can best be practiced by men who are Republicans 
year after year, in office or out, and not by diluted 
imitations who no sooner find themselves in control 
of the Government than they begin to wonder, 

256 



CONSERVATISM, INDEPENDENCE, 1900-1914 

rather frantically, how the Republicans would do it, 
and then try their best to do the same. 

Ninety years ago the Democratic Party, or that 
controlling faction of it led by Andrew Jackson, 
really meant something in national affairs. When it 
came back after the misfortunes under Van Buren 
and the Whig interlude that followed, it had bound 
itself to the service of a sectional oligarchy, and it 
remained in bondage till the Civil War. Since then 
the party has always been, in effect, the opposition. 
Even the great vote that ought to have carried 
Samuel J. Tilden to the White House was largely a 
protest vote. By undeserved good luck the Demo- 
cratic Party had as its leader in the '80s and '90s 
one of the strongest and wisest statesmen of Ameri- 
can history. What did it do with him? It nomi- 
nated him, to be sure, and renominated him twice, 
but that was because Grover Cleveland had shown 
that he could be elected, and no other Democrat 
since the war had been able to do that. When he 
was once in office some of his own followers were 
the first to stick their knives in his back. 

But whether or not the country would be best 
served by a condition in which the Republicans, per- 
petually in power, would be prodded into virtue and 
efficiency by a Democracy perpetually in opposition, 
such a condition is impossible. Ambitious young men 
join the party which has the offices at its disposal. A 
few Democrats have to be elected now and then to en- 
courage the others. This may perhaps explain why 
The Times, though Democratic, is apt to be more crit- 
ical of the Democrats in office than of their opponents. 
Nothing surprising or out of the ordinary is to be ex- 

257 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

pected from the Republican Party — except under such 
unusual leaders as Roosevelt, and, after all, Roosevelt 
kept the country expecting great and wonderful things 
for seven and a half years, few of which happened. 
In ordinary times everybody knows what the Re- 
publican Party is; good or bad, it is a fixed quan- 
tity. There is more exhilaration in supporting and 
criticising the Democrats, whose worst can be in- 
credibly bad, whose best is sometimes surprisingly 
good, and who are just as likely to display the one 
as the other. At any rate, there is always the pos- 
sibiHty that with the proper support, and the proper 
amount of well-timed castigation, the Democrats 
may be driven to do something which ordinarily 
would be entirely beyond their vision — the Federal 
Reserve act, for instance. It is the difference be- 
tween marrying a domestic disposition and an artis- 
tic temperament. 

So it will be observed that The Times is Demo- 
cratic both because its principal personages believe 
in the traditional Democratic doctrines, and because 
they think the public welfare is best served by giv- 
ing the paper's support to the Democratic Party in 
the hope that, being constantly reminded of its 
basic principles, it may occasionally go back to those 
doctrines. This attitude would in itself make it im- 
possible for The Times ever to become the organ of 
an Administration even if other and decisive con- 
siderations did not prevent it. And it may be noted 
that The Times has never, under the present man- 
agement, had a candidate whom it pushed vigor- 
ously for the nomination. Its support of Wilson 
during the 191 2 convention was, as explained above, 

258 




HONOR ROLL 



if HAROLD J. BEHL 

if WILLIAM BRADLEY 

if JOYCE KILMER 

if W. S. MANNING 

* EDWARD B. PIERCE 



A. R. ADDISON 

JULIUS OCHS ADLER 

ABRAHAM FRANK AGMAN 

RICHARD ALDRICH 

EDWARD ROSCOE ALLEN 

ROBT. K. ALLISON 

RICHARD F. AMES 

CHARLES WALTER ATKINSON 

EDWARD A ATKINSON 

CARL E. BARTLETT 

WALLACE A. BAWER 

W. BERRYMAN 

H. M. BJORCK 

GORDON BLAIR 

JOS F. BLAND 

THOMAS S. BOSWORTH 

FRANCIS J. BOYLAN 

FREDERICK A. BOYD. JR 

CHARLES W. BOYLE 

FRED BRAZONG 

MICHAEL BRIENZA 

WILLIAM F. BROSNAN 

LEE D. BROWN 

H. M. BUGGELYN 

E. BURQUIST 

JESSE S. BUTCHER 

ARTHUR G CAMPBELL 

S. M. CHAMBERS 

ANTHONY CITRO 

ROBERT C. COCHRANE 

WILLIAM D. COLGAN, JR. 

WALTER H COLLINS 

THOMAS COOK 

GEORGE COOPER 

WALTER COULTER 

CHARLOTTE HOLMES CRAWFORD 



BENJAMIN CULLEN 
EDW. B. CUMMERFORp 
JOHN WEBSTER CURLEY 
LEE CURTIS 
GEORGE CUSACK 
CHARLES DALY 
CLARENCE H. DEBAUN 
LOUIS DECOLLE 
PATRICK S. DELANEY 
EDWIN F. DELANO 
JOSEPH DIXON 
EDWARD DOYLE 
HUGH PENTLAND DUNN 
ALBERT ELDRED 
HERBERT ELLUM 
EDWARD WALDO EMERSON 
MORRIS FACTOR 
C FARRELL 
JOHN FEY 
HAROLD FINCH 
EARL N. FINDLEY 
JOHN FINN 

EDWARD J. FITZSIMMONS 
GEORGE H. FLANAGAN 
SIMEON T. FLANAGAN 
GERALD E. FORCE 
ROBERT J. FORESMAN 
BENTLEY J. GEIGER 
ARTHUR GORTON 
CHARLES GOTTSCHALK 
JEANETTE C GRANT 
FRANK B. GRISWOLD 
EDWARD GROSS 
WM. A. GROTEFELD 
L. A. GUNDERSON 
GUSTAV HANSON. JR. 



HONOR ROLL— Continued 



H HARMAN 
ROLAND H. HARPER 
ALFRED HARRIS 
EDWARD J. HARRIS. JR 
A. E. HARTZELL 
FRANKLIN A HARWOOD 
HAROLD B HAVILAND 
WILLIAM J. HEGARTY 
ELLIOTT P. HENRY 
THOS. J. HERLIHY 
JOHN HIMPLER 
ULRICH HOFELE 
PHILIP D. HOYT 
C. F. HUGHES 
L. HUGHES 
MICHAEL A. HUGHES 
HOWARD HUMPHREY 
GEORGE E. HYDE 
CHAS. JENKS 
CARL O. JOHNSON 
W. R. JOYCE 
RUDOLPH C. KARR 
EDWARD J KEAN 
ROBERT F. KELLEY 
WM. JAY KELLEY 
JOHN F. KIERAN 
JOHN KIMBALL 
EDWARD KLAUBER 
MORTIMER J. KROLL 
MAURIC LANGERMAN 
WM. LANIGAN 
WM. LEARY 
GEORGE LEHMAN 
GEORGE LEONARD 
GERSON LEVY 
JOSEPH LISSON 
G. C. LOHSS 
CLARENCE E. LOVEJOY 
WILLIAM H. LUBRECHT 
ALLEN LUTHER 
WILLIAM F. LYNCH 
WRIGHT McCORMICK 
JAMES McCANN 
THOMAS McCANN 
NEIL MacNEIL 
ANDREW E MAGNUSON 
CHARLES P. MAILE 
AUSTIN M. MALONE 
EDWARD F. MANNIX 
LOUIS J. MERRELL 
JAMES D. MILLS 
ROBERT C. MORTON 
EDWARD MOTIZZ 
MATTHEW J. MURPHY 
PATRICK J. MURPHY 
WILLIAM MURPHY 



FRANK L. NELSON 

JOHN NELSON 

JAMES E. NIX 

JACK NYDICK 

GEORGE F, O'CONNER 

JAMES W. OSBORNE. JR. 

FRANCIS XAVIER PAVESICH 

GEORGE PAYNE 

ARTHUR H. PENNEY 

JOHN PETERS 

EDW. j; POLOQUIN 

MICHAEL PROZAN 

RAPHAEL J. REARDON 

EDWARD REYNOLDS 

ROBERT H. ROESEN 

MARTIN L. ROMAN 

GEORGE L. ROONEY 

R. ROWAN 

REGINALD G. RUSSOM 

TRACY J. RYAN 

OSCAR SALVAIL 

J. J. SANFORD 

J. ARNOLD SAVAGE 

GEORGE H. SCHNEIDERMAN 

SAMSON H. SHAHBOODAGHIAN 

CHARLES J. SHARKEY 

J. SHARKEY 

JOHN SIMONS 

A. LEONARD SMITH. JR 

JAMES JOSEPH SMITH 

WILLIAM SMITH 

R. J. SPRAGUE 

EDWARD J. STEWART 

JOSEPH F. SULLIVAN 

ARTHUR HAYS SULZBERGER 

WILLIAM A. SWANSON 

PAUL LELAND SWIG ART 

JAMES M. TAYLOR 

GROVER C. THEIS 

FREDERIC D. THOMAS, JR. 

BERNARD S. THOMSON 

BERNA D TRACEY 

CHARLES B. VOLCKENS 

H. H. WALKER 

CHARLES J. WALSH 

C. C. WEAVER 

H. C. WEAVER 

SAMUEL WEISS 

MICHAEL WEISSMAN 

E. B. WELLS 

JAMES A. WHITEHOUSE 

S. T. WILLIAMSON 

EDWARD A. WIRTH 

ALEXANDER WOOLLCOTT 

RICHARD B WRIGHT 

EZRA WRIGHT 



T«C RIGHT 15 *IOHt t 
WE 5HAU HGHT FOR THE THINCS^ which 
CAWMEO HEAHtST OUR HEARTS 
TO SUCH A TASK Wt OEWCATE OUR U 



CONSERVATISM, INDEPENDENCE, 1900-1914 

due to specific circumstances which had not been 
present in the pre-convention campaign. 

In the Spring of 1920, to be sure, The Times did 
suggest John W. Davis as a man worthy of the con- 
sideration of the Democratic National Convention. 
But it was a suggestion and no more, and inspired 
chiefly by a desire to remind the delegates that all 
the talent of the party was not embodied in the per- 
sons of William G. McAdoo, James M. Cox and A. 
Mitchell Palmer. Mr. Davis was not personally 
known to the conductors of The Times; but he was, 
as Baedeker says, well spoken of. He was suggested 
to the party without much expectation that he 
would be nominated — and indeed it would have 
been rather unfortunate to waste him in a year 
when no Democrat could have been elected. He 
was mentioned in the hope that some Democrats 
might be stirred to remember that their party 
had after all more talent than its leadership often 
allowed to become visible. 

The more important aspects of the editorial posi- 
tion of The Times in recent years are, however, those 
lying outside of party affiliations or partisan doc- 
trines. It will probably be generally admitted that 
The Times for years past has been regarded as the 
most eminent champion of so-called conservatism in 
the American press. This is by no means the same 
thing as saying that it is the most conservative 
newspaper; it is not, by a good deal. But its wide 
circulation, its consistency of doctrine, its vigorous 
adherence to views which have often been unpopu- 
lar, have given it a certain primacy among those 

259 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

marshaled on the conservative side. This position 
became more clearly defined, perhaps, during the 
World War and in the discussion of subsequent is- 
sues; but it was established years before that. And 
its conservatism is partly, though not wholly, 
responsible for the distinction which The Times 
undoubtedly enjoys — and that word is used advis- 
edly — of being more thoroughly hated by Com- 
munists, Socialists and radicals, to say nothing of 
pro-Germans and Irish extremists, than any other 
newspaper in the United States. 

It is not to be supposed that the editors of The 
Times are so eccentric as to take pride in a measure 
of intellectual isolation, or so inhuman as to derive 
a fiendish pleasure from the disapproval of their fel- 
lows. If they are proud of their enemies, it is be- 
cause they believe that the widespread antagonism 
to the editorial views of the paper is in more ways 
than one directly due to its merits. The readers of 
The Times represent a far wider range of political 
opinion than the ordinary newspaper constituency. 
A great many people who cordially despise the po- 
litical and economic opinions of its editors feel that 
they have to buy the paper in order to get the news. 
If any one doubts this, let him observe that the 
radical weeklies, for example, cite The Times news 
columns as authority for most of their statements of 
fact. There is no doubt a certain crafty precaution 
in this; if the news report should happen to be 
wrong, the radical commentator can offer the apol- 
ogy that he was misled by the untrustworthy "capi- 
talist" press. Nevertheless, the radical weekhes 
continue to get their news from The Times. Simi- 

260 



CONSERVATISM, INDEPENDENCE, 1900-1914 

larly, many stalwart Republicans and convinced 
opponents of the League of Nations have in the past 
two years started the day by hating The Times over 
the breakfast grapefruit; but they find that they 
have to have it in preference to papers which might 
better reflect their own political opinions, and thus 
start them to the office with a pleasant sense of the 
tightness of the world. Forty years ago, when news- 
papers were chiefly political, these men would not 
have taken The Times; today, when a newspaper is 
first of all a newspaper, they feel that they have to 
have it to find out what is going on. 

A second reason for the dislike for The Times 
which is felt among radicals, at least, is that The 
Times stands for something. When the Socialist 
orator comes to the congenial theme of the iniquity 
of the "capitalist" press, he thinks of The Times as 
its most prominent representative. The Times is 
frankly and pretty consistently conservative — not 
so consistently, of course, as radicals seem to think; 
no human institution could be so regularly of one 
mind as that — but on the whole always to be found 
on the Right (it being understood that for obvious 
reasons of delicacy this word is used in the sense 
familiar in European politics, and not necessarily 
with an ethical implication). Certain newspapers, 
which need not be mentioned, represent pretty 
nearly the same general opinions on politics and 
economics as The Times, but nobody ever wastes 
much hostility on them. There are other journals 
whose political views are so variable, or so negligible, 
that you might as well hate the city directory. 
Much of this antipathy to The Times is, then, mere 

261 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

recognition of the fact that the paper has opinions 
of which it is not ashamed, and which it advocates 
with all the vigor that its editors are able to com- 
mand. In the frequent denunciations of its policies, 
which its editors read with interest, there are many 
which are quite obviously not directed at The Times 
as an individual newspaper, but at The Times as the 
most prominent, powerful, and easily recognizable 
representative of a whole school of opinion. 

Furthermore, a great many critics of The Times 
are persons of whose friendship the paper would be 
ashamed. It is sufficient to cite in this connection 
the bitter attacks made upon it during the war by 
German agents or their Irish sympathizers. But 
even before the war The Times had many critics 
whose hostility it could not regard as anything but 
a badge of merit. Not all of them, by any means, 
could be included in this classification, but a suffi- 
cient number to explain the fact that almost any 
radical orator can move his audience to wild cheers 
by a few maledictions on The Times. The paper 
has never had much confidence in efforts to remove 
all human evils overnight by a magic formula. It 
has distrusted patented and proprietary remedies 
for political and economic ills. In both minor and 
major matters it has usually managed to awaken 
the fiery hostility of the long-haired. It has not be- 
lieved and does not believe in socialism, Fourieristic, 
Marxian or Leninist; in Greenbackism, Free Silver, 
or the political-economic system of the Nonparti- 
san League; in putting the Government into busi- 
ness; in the medical sociology of anti-vivisection or 
the artistic philosophies of dadaism. And since it is 

262 



CONSERVATISM, INDEPENDENCE, 1900-1914 

the common peculiarity of most of these gospels 
that their devotees become somewhat intolerant and 
think that unbelievers might as well be hurried to 
the stake, those who are moved to cast doubt on 
the saving virtues of the new doctrine naturally 
come in for a good deal of denunciation. 

Yet this conviction throughout all the various di- 
visions of liberalism and radicalism that hatred for 
The New York Times is one of the essentials of sal- 
vation is in large measure a somewhat recent growth. 
Why was not The Times so cordially disliked fifty 
years ago.? It was, of course, by Democrats; but 
this was an ordinary manifestation of partisan ani- 
mosity and involved no real conviction on the part 
of the enemies of the paper that it was Satan's right 
arm. And however poor an opinion its editors may 
entertain of their antagonists of today, there is no 
doubt that these antagonists, or nearly all of them, 
are wholly sincere. Why this difference.? It is 
largely due, perhaps, to a change of emphasis in the 
issues; the violence of political opinion has been 
steadily dying away in the United States ever since 
the end of the great political upheaval of the Civil 
War. It is not all gone, but it has been growing less 
every year since the impeachment of Andrew John- 
son. People who hate violently today are apt to 
do so for economic reasons, or for reasons which, 
though partly political, racial, or temperamental in 
origin, they have been taught to regard as economic. 

Yet The Times's general position on economic 
questions has always been pretty much the same. 
In economics as in politics, it has never thought it 
advisable to burn the barn in order to get rid of the 

263 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

rats. No doubt those who think ill of the paper 
might represent this general continuity of doctrine 
on The Times^s editorial page by saying that the 
paper has stood still while the country has moved 
on. But neither of these statements would be true. 
The paper has stood still only on certain fundamen- 
tal issues, such as that two and two make four, or, 
at any rate, have made four in all past human his- 
tory, and that it is somewhat unlikely that by vir- 
tue of some mystic gospel from Kansas, North Da- 
kota or Russia, two and two can be made to add up 
to six and a half. Nor is it true that the rest of the 
country, or the rest of American journalism, has 
moved away to the Left while The Times remained 
in splendid isolation in its old position just beyond 
the Right Centre. 

Radicalism is nothing new in America; not even 
economic radicalism. But there has been a consid- 
erable change in the character, if not in the volume, 
of American radicalism, due largely to the changing 
racial composition of the American people. Eco- 
nomic radicalism in the early days of The Times was 
largely a matter of agrarian or easy-money agita- 
tion. It was conducted, as a matter of course, 
chiefly by native Americans; recent immigrants, less 
numerous than now and mostly of a different racial 
provenance, were too busy graduating from the pick 
and shovel to capitalistic comfort to stop and re- 
member that America was the country where no 
poor man had a chance. Dilettante radicalism of 
the wealthier classes had not yet appeared, or rather 
had sunk out of sight after its manifestation by such 
men as Jefferson in the early days of the Republic. 

264 



CONSERVATISM, INDEPENDENCE, 1900-1914 

The radical movements in the earlier days of The 
Times found most of their support among farmers; 
they were native products; and their votaries usu- 
ally recovered their balance after two or three good 
crop years. The general characteristic of these de- 
lusions was a conviction that economic evils could 
be ended by the printing of unlimited paper money, 
or the vahdation of unlimited token money; and this 
conviction usually disappeared as men and the coun- 
try grew older, and the specific grievance faded 
away in periods of prosperity. Passing of hard 
frontier conditions brought better times to the 
prairie states; young men who had followed some 
peerless leader of the day in the earnest conviction 
that poverty could be cured by happy improvisa- 
tion often discovered, as they grew older, that in 
default of more palatable remedies poverty could be 
cured by work. Radicalism in those days was apt 
to be only a form of wild oats. 

But the newer radicalism is different in quality. 
It is not a question of removing specific grievances, 
real or fancied; the whole world, to the contempo- 
rary radical, is only one great grievance. And the 
cure of this painful condition must be exactly thus 
and so, otherwise it is no cure. This radicalism is a 
matter of dogma — at least the most popular and 
conspicuous of its manifestations, Marxian Social- 
ism, is a matter of dogma. The world is divided 
into the true believers and the infidels; and the in- 
fidels shall not see salvation. 

The influence of socialist intolerance even on non- 
socialist radicalism has probably contributed a good 
deal to the conviction of most radicals that no man 

265 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

can honestly be conservative. Those who disagree 
with the radicals are actuated only by the desire to 
continue grinding down the faces of the poor, or to 
preserve their ill-gotten gains from those who would 
Hke to pass them around. And it should not be for- 
gotten that these doctrines, and most of their ad- 
herents, came from parts of the Continent of Europe 
where the give-and-take of political activity has 
been unknown till quite recent years. Granting the 
numerous faults of Anglo-Saxon institutions, it re- 
mains true that the races who have lived for a con- 
siderable time under those institutions are able to 
find other explanations for difference of political 
opinion than the innate and total depravity of the 
opposition. 

It may be conjectured that these considerations 
explain, in large measure at least, the embittered 
tone of most current radicalism. All conservatives, 
of course, are the targets of its wrath; The Times 
happens to be a conspicuous target, standing out 
above the crowd. Also, the reasons suggested above 
for the paper's unpopularity among opponents of its 
political views are valid in considerable measure in 
the field of economic controversy. Some Socialists 
prefer to get the news from their own sectarian or- 
gans; but a good many of them, with praiseworthy 
eagerness to find out what is happening, look for 
pleasant as well as unpleasant information in the 
columns of The Times. It may be held, indeed, that 
only a devout Bolshevik can get full pleasure out of 
reading The Times; for after he has read the news he 
can turn to the editorial page and enjoy a complete 
catharsis of the emotions, ending with the gratify- 

266 



CONSERVATISM, INDEPENDENCE, 1900-1914 

ing conviction that The Times editors are a gang of 
scoundrels and that his own moral purity is posi- 
tively dazzling by contrast. 

In the period now under discussion The Times 
gradually won its way to this position of conserva- 
tive leadership. It had and still has a conviction, 
which the little experience available has justified, 
that the Government is about as poor a business 
manager as can be found. 

During the trust prosecutions, which offered such 
lavish and innocuous entertainment to the public 
for a decade or so, The Times was inclined to regard 
each case on its merits. In some few of these cases 
the paper was of the opinion that misconduct had 
been proved and that the offending corporation 
should suffer the penalty, such as it was, of dissolu- 
tion; but it was unable to admit that size alone was 
a crime, or that the power to do evil was to be re- 
garded as no less criminal than the actual doing of 
evil; and the view on this point has since been ac- 
cepted by the courts. It seems probable that on 
both of these issues the position taken by The Times 
is much more generally accepted today than a few 
years ago. For several years The Times labored to 
show that bench and bar had fallen under the spell 
of an ancient legal phrase, " restraint of trade." The 
courts have now come to the view that the restraint 
must be actual, not potential. 

The direct primary, the initiative and referendum, 
the recall of Judges and other officials, and similar 
mechanical devices by which, it was widely believed 
ten years ago, the purity of political life could be 
automatically safeguarded, also found The Times 

267 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

somewhat incredulous as to their merits. This in- 
creduHty, it may be observed, was based principally 
on a study of politics not only in the present but in 
the past, and on the conviction that political im- 
provement must usually be effected by raising the 
standard of civic consciousness in the electorate. It 
is one of the misfortunes of most radicals that they 
think, or appear to think, that the beginning of the 
world was contemporaneous with the beginning of 
their consciousness of the world. Very often that is 
why they are radicals; it is unknown to them that 
their panaceas have already been tried on the pa- 
tient without producing much improvement. Con- 
servatism, in its literal meaning, implies an inclina- 
tion to preserve the good that has come down from 
the past, and a reluctance to discard institutions 
that have worked at least well enough to survive 
until there is strong reason to believe that substi- 
tutes would be more satisfactory. But American 
conservatism, thanks to the character of most of the 
opposition, has rarely been forced back to this de- 
fensive line. Most of its campaigns have been in 
the nature of outpost fighting; its principal work 
has been to remind the public of the existence of the 
past when so many thinkers of contemporary pub- 
lic life appear to believe that history begins with 
the Communist Manifesto. 

The Times's attitude toward socialism, syndical- 
ism, and similar movements is sufficiently well known 
to need no particular mention here. On other is- 
sues, however, it should be remarked for the sake 
of the record that the conservatism of the paper has 
not been so unvarying as some of its critics seem to 

268 



CONSERVATISM, INDEPENDENCE, 1900-1914 

think. At the time of the State Constitutional 
Convention of 191 5, for example, The Times thought 
there was need of a far more extensive revision of 
the fundamental law than the convention even at- 
tempted. The document finally produced, though it 
seemed to The Times a rather inadequate response 
to the opportunity, nevertheless received the paper's 
support on the ground that it was a considerable 
improvement over the Constitution of 1894, ^^^ 
made some much needed changes in the direction of 
simplification and economy, and making the gov- 
ernment of the State more easily controlled by the 
voters. On this occasion the mass of the electorate 
was considerably more conservative than The Times, 
preferring the old Constitution with all its imper- 
fections to a new one against which no serious ar- 
gument was ever attempted except that it had been 
made by a body in which EHhu Root was one of the 
leaders. 

In the matter of prohibition the paper has ex- 
pressed a good deal of dissatisfaction with the theory 
of Constitutional prohibition as well as with the 
practice of the Volstead act. The basis of this is 
not so much a behef that in questions such as this 
action by the several states is more likely to re- 
sult in an approximation of the popular will, though 
some of the editors of The Times do believe that. 
Whatever the merits of our Federal system, it is 
dying; every day the states are losing more of such 
power as is left them to a centralizing Federal Gov- 
ernment, and not very many people seem to care. 
The doubts of The Times about the wisdom of pro- 
hibition arise rather from a skepticism as to the 

269 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

readiness of the people for any such drastic meas- 
ures, and a beHef that it is poor poHcy to make such 
a sweeping change practically irrevocable by its 
embodiment in the Constitution. 

The judgment of history is at best a somewhat un- 
certain criterion, even after some centuries have af- 
forded opportunity for inspection of the results of 
political action and reaction. To appeal to the 
judgment of history, after a decade, is a little too 
hazardous. The archaeologist from the Island of 
Yap, excavating the pyramidal ruins of Manhattan 
in the year 4921, may perhaps understand just where 
the United States was headed in the beginning of 
the twentieth century; he will certainly know whether 
or not it got there. Contemporary observers can 
only guess. Still, taking the evidence for what lit- 
tle it is worth, the editors of The Times may feel that 
there is no great reason to fear that their position 
on the issues of these years was mistaken. 

This period, between the Spanish War and the 
World War, was the age of muckraking; the day 
of a great emotional revival in American public life; 
of a new infusion of morality into politics, and of 
politics into morality. 

The Times during this carnival of purity was com- 
pelled to preserve its attitude of conscientious skep- 
ticism, and consequently was as unpopular with fol- 
lowers of the new gospel as the village infidel at pro- 
tracted meeting; for it steadfastly refused to stagger 
down to the mourners' bench. And now the revival 
is over, and most of those who hit the sawdust trail 
have fallen from grace and gone back to walk in 
darkness till the next day of Pentecost. The Times 

270 



CONSERVATISM, INDEPENDENCE, 1900-1914 

contemplates their side-slips without exultation; 
rather with a certain sadness. It would be a won- 
derful thing if life were what the reformers thought 
it was, but experience has shown that it is not. It 
was the painful duty of The Times, at the height of 
the revival, to remind the reformers of the lessons of 
experience; to express its doubts as to the value of 
measures which introduced new evils without cur- 
ing the old; and to suggest that neither was the 
past as black as it was painted, nor could the future 
reasonably be expected to be one unspotted smear 
of rose-color. This is what conservatism means, 
and The Times is not ashamed of it. 

The attitude of The Times toward union labor has 
been pretty widely misrepresented. The Times be- 
lieves in trades unionism as a valuable contribution 
to the national well being. It does not think, how- 
ever, that the followers of the organized trades are 
the whole people, or a specially privileged part of the 
people. It believes that the American Federation 
of Labor has rendered very great services to the 
nation at large as well as to the men enrolled in it, 
but it believes that the members of the Federation 
are part of the people, and that their interests can- 
not be considered apart from the general interest. 

For those movements, mostly outside the Federa- 
tion, which tend toward syndicalism The ^ Times has 
no sympathy, for it believes that syndicaHsm is mor- 
ally and economically unsound. When the railroad 
brotherhoods hold up the Government as they did 
in 1916, the Government is more to blame than the 
railroad brotherhoods; but The Times has been un- 

271 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

able to regard the railroads as existing solely for the 
interest of their employes. 

The Times does not pretend to have a patented 
cure for industrial ills, nor to know where that cure 
can be found. It does have a pretty strong sus- 
picion, however, as to where it cannot be found. 
Socialists and syndicalists object to the trades union 
philosophy that it implies a constant state of indus- 
trial war, or at best of industrial truce, between 
employer and employe. The Times has not found 
it so in practice. 

When the new publisher took over The Times in 
1896 he discovered that the composing room was 
heavily, even ruinously, overmanned. The pub- 
lisher felt that as a matter both of right and of 
expediency this condition should be discussed with 
the union officials, and a conference with the then 
head of Typographical Union No. 6 made it plain 
that that gentleman's ideas of a fair day's work for 
a fair day's pay coincided with those of the pub- 
lisher of The Times; so the payroll of the compos- 
ing room was reduced ^1000 a week without any 
lessening of its efficiency. The composing room has 
since found plenty of work for several times the 
number of men then employed, but relations have 
always been good, and such differences as arose have 
always been settled in an amicable manner. 



272 



s 



CHAPTER III 

Modern News-gathering, 1900-1914 

O much for the editorial poUcies from 1900 to 
' 1914. The period under discussion was, how- 
ever, above all a period of development in the news 
service of The Times. All the newspapers in New 
York had a better idea of what was news in 1914 
than they had in 1900, all of them knew more about 
what to do with news when they had it, and though 
they made less noise about the getting of the news 
than they had been inchned to do in the nineties, 
they got more news and more reliable news than they 
had ever done before. In this gradual improvement 
The Times led the way. Whatever its relative posi- 
tion in New York journalism — which is a matter 
of opinion, perhaps — that position was higher m 
1914 than in 1900. It was to become higher still 
during the war, but in the years before the war 
was laid the foundation of the great organization for 
getting and pubhshing the news which is the chief 
distinction of The Times today. 

The history of the paper's growth in this period 
is not easy to tell, for it is not a matter of isolated 
"beats," of great individual achievements rising 
from a level plain of daily routine, of great crusades 
or magnificent exposures. The Times has had plenty 
of "beats" and has shown its enterprise in digging 
up more than one neglected field of the news, but 

273 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

its real preeminence is a matter of high average 
rather than of scattered peaks of achievement. Day 
in and day out it gets more news, and handles it 
more intelHgentl}^ than any paper knew how to do 
a decade or two ago; and this implies, obviously, 
the slow assembling of an especially competent staff, 
the indoctrination of every man with a gradually 
evolved set of principles, as well as unusually effi- 
cient direction from above. The Times as a news- 
paper is far from perfect; its conductors know that 
better than anybody else. Its news-gatherers may 
overlook some things; its editors may make mis- 
takes in dealing with what they have to give the 
public. But there can be no very serious doubt 
that The Times makes fewer mistakes of this sort 
than its contemporaries. 

In the building of this news organization credit 
must be given to the men at the top — to Henry 
Loewenthal, at present in charge of the business 
news department, whose connection with The Times 
began in 1875 and who was managing editor from 
1896 to 1904; to Arthur Greaves, city editor from 
1900 to 191 5; to William C. Reick, who from 1906 
to 191 2 was associated with the general manage- 
ment of the paper, and chiefly to Carr V. Van 
Anda, who has been managing editor since 1904 and 
has been most directly concerned with the extraor- 
dinary development of the news department and 
with reaching its highest peak. Under all these 
men The Times was steadily coming into prominence 
as a paper which, while giving less attention than 
some of its contemporaries to spectacular demon- 
strations of its enterprise, was learning how to get 

274 



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MODERN NEWS-GATHERING, 1900-1914 

the news wherever it happened and about as soon 
as it happened, and to present it to the public with 
some appreciation of its relative importance and 
interest. 

A business connection which has already been 
mentioned deserves somewhat more detailed notice 
here, for in the earlier years of this period it proved 
of considerable value. This was the "alliance for 
mutual interest and advantage" with The London 
Times ^ begun on September 2, 1901. No doubt this 
alliance has been the pretext — it could hardly be 
called the excuse — for much of the belief that The 
New York Times is owned or controlled by Lord 
NorthclifFe. In fact, it was precisely what it was 
called at the time, an alliance for mutual benefit. 
The alliance consisted only of this — that The New 
York Times bought the full rights for publication in 
North America of The London Times news service, 
The London Times receiving reciprocal rights to 
The New York Times news service for publication 
in England. It was an arrangement of the same 
general character as those which the paper now 
maintains with The London Daily Chronicle, the 
Paris Matin and The Chicago Tribune, To suppose 
that it involves ownership of The New York Times 
in England is very much the same as saying that a 
man is owned by the restaurant where he occasion- 
ally dines. 

As for Lord Northcliffe, a genius in newspaper 
making, he had nothing to do with The London Times 
when this contract was concluded. That paper was 
then owned by the Walter family, and managed by the 
Walters and Moberly Bell. The arrangement was 

275 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

continued for some years after Lord NorthclifFe 
bought The London Times, but relations with him were 
sharply broken off at the beginning of the World 
War because of some difference of opinion between 
him and the management of The New York Times 
with respect to news exchange arrangements. This 
has been told so often that very few of those who 
still repeat the story of a Northcliffe influence on 
The New York Times have even the poor excuse of 
ignorance. 

Aside from its effect in furnishing nonexplosive 
ammunition for credulous Sinn Feiners, the con- 
nection was on the whole a useful one. It was most 
useful at the beginning, when the relative position 
of the two papers was not quite what it is today. 
In the early years of the twentieth century it gave 
The New York Times a connection with a worldwide 
news service of much intrinsic value and still greater 
reputation, which proved particularly valuable in 
the Russo-Japanese War. Later on it was less im- 
portant, for The New York Times was becoming able 
to collect the news of the world on its own initia- 
tive; not so much by means of a widely traveling 
staff of special correspondents as by a few centralized 
offices which had learned how to get the earliest re- 
ports from almost anywhere. 

Much of the development of The Times news de- 
partment has a purely technical or intramural in- 
terest, but a good deal of it has such bearing on 
the general improvement in journalistic methods 
that it deserves to rank almost as a public service. 
This is especially true of the paper's share in the 

276 



MODERN NEWS-GATHERING, 1900-1914 

development of wireless telegraphy. To Marconi 
and the other men who were perfecting that inven- 
tion in the early years of the twentieth century The 
Times gave not only publicity and encouragement 
but sometimes a rather insistent support which drove 
them on to do more than they would ever have 
dreamed they could do if there had been nobody 
there to tell them. The war would undoubtedly 
have forced the development of long-distance wire- 
less in any case, but it is due in some degree to The 
New York Times that the art was so far advanced 
as it was when the war began. 

In the early years of wireless the interest of The 
Times was chiefly, if not wholly, that of a newspaper 
eager to give the news. Marconi's announcement 
on December 14, 1901, that transatlantic communi- 
cation had been established between Poldhu, Corn- 
wall, and St. John's, Newfoundland, received the 
display in the news columns, and the enthusiastic 
comment in the editorial columns, which its im- 
portance warranted. But these first transmissions 
went no farther than the sending across the Atlantic 
of a single letter — S — whose three dots in the 
Morse code, repeated at stated intervals, did indeed 
convince the inventor that he could send a message 
from Europe to America, but left him far short of 
the goal of a service which would be commercially 
useful. His experiments were continued, without 
much publicity; and by a curious accident The 
New York Times was deprived of the news of one of 
the most interesting of these experiments, the dis- 
patch of the first transatlantic wireless press message. 

On December 16, 1902, Dr. (afterward Sir) George 
' 277 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

R. Parkin, then one of the correspondents of The 
London Times, visited Marconi at his new station 
at Glace Bay, Nova Scotia. By this time Marconi 
was able to send matter eastward across the Atlantic 
with fair success, though he had had little luck with 
westward messages. Dr. Parkin wrote out and sent 
a twenty-five-word Marconigram to The London 
Times, expressing the sentiments proper to the oc- 
casion, and then came back to New York and told 
for the first time the thrilling story of the epoch- 
making event, of the successful transmission of a 
message, without wires, across the Atlantic, and 
of the progress Marconi was making. The con- 
ductors of The New York Ti7nes, however, were 
deeply interested in what Marconi was doing, and 
they were delighted to learn that Dr. Parkin had 
written an account, some two thousand words in 
length, of what he was the first newspaper repre- 
sentative permitted to witness. 

Since the alliance between the two papers was 
hen in force. Dr. Parkin had the story typed on 
New York Times stationery and mailed it himself, 
in a plain envelope, to his paper in London. A car- 
bon copy was left in The New York Times office, to 
be published simultaneously with the London pub- 
lication; The New York Times was to be advised 
by cable of The London Times^s receipt of the story. 
The editors waited for days and weeks and the mes- 
sage did not arrive. And at last Dr. Parkin's origi- 
nal story came back through the dead letter office, 
refused at The London Times office because of in- 
sufficient postage calling for the payment of surtax 
refund. Years later one of the managers of The 

278 



MODERN NEWS-GATHERING, 1900-1914 

London Times explained this by saying that that 
paper received an enormous amount of unsoHcited 
correspondence from all over the world, and that 
such of it as did not have enough postage paid was 
declined. Whatever Lord NorthclifFe may have done 
to The London Times, it is probable that its mail no 
longer goes back to the Post Office unopened. 

It was years later before Marconi was able to 
open up a regular transatlantic service, and in the 
meantime The Nezv York Times had so unfailingly 
displayed its confidence in him that when regular 
service was begun between CHfden, Ireland, and 
Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, on October 17, 1907, the 
first message accepted for transmission westward 
came to the paper from its London office. Of the 
ten thousand words or so sent by wireless that 
night a good deal was Nezv York Times news, and 
one of the dispatches from the Paris office carried 
a message of greeting from Georges Clemenceau, 
then Premier for the first time. Naturally The Times 
made a great display story of the opening of regular 
wireless communications, and among the '* follows'' 
which it printed the next morning was Dr. Parkin's 
account of his experience nearly five years before. 

For some years thereafter a considerable propor- 
tion of The Times European news for the Sunday 
issue came through by wireless, but the delays in 
transmission were so great that the most important 
news was generally sent by cable. When the regu- 
lar Marconi service was first opened most of the 
cable company officials had taken it rather lightly, 
and some were incredulous. Others professed to be- 
lieve that its competition would not be dangerous; 

279 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

and for a matter of four years they were justified. 
Some of them foresaw that eventually wireless might 
carry a much higher percentage of transatlantic mes- 
sages than it could handle in 1907, but they were 
optimistic enough to think that there would be 
plenty of business for all. And they were right; 
the war and the continuing interest in European 
news which survived the war have kept both wire- 
less and cables busy enough. 

But from 1907 to 191 2 the wireless service could 
not be depended on for sure and speedy transmis- 
sion of important news. Since the wireless rate was 
only five cents a word, and the minimum cable rate 
on press messages was double that, the wireless was 
used wherever possible. In those days The Times 
published two or three pages of general European 
news in one of its Sunday sections — society and 
fashion notes, the movements of American tourists, 
and such similar items as occupied most of the little 
attention that was given by Americans to European 
affairs before the war — and the wireless was useful 
and cheap for this sort of service. A story written 
on Thursday did not need to get to the office on 
Friday if it was intended for the Sunday paper. In 
those days The Times did a great deal more for the 
wireless companies than the wireless companies did 
for The Times; every dispatch was carefully marked 
**By Marconi Wireless Telegraph," and the value of 
this acknowledgment was undoubtedly great. 

Still the wireless remained distinctly a secondary 
matter; anything urgent had to be put on the cables. 
And this might have continued indefinitely if The 
Times had not been moved to some reflections, early 

280 



MODERN NEWS-GATHERING, 1900-1914 

in January, 191 2, by the chance consideration of a 
wireless message which had come through from Lon- 
don in five hours. This was considerably less than 
the average time required for ordinary press mes- 
sages by the Marconi service, and on reflection no 
reason was seen why there should be even this 
much delay. The Hertzian waves traveled fast 
enough for any taste; the delays, then, must be in 
the land connections from European capitals to 
Clifden, and from Glace Bay to New York. 

It was the old story of the early days of news- 
gathering, when the utmost speed in getting Euro- 
pean news to Cape Race might be nulHfied by the 
indolence of a telegraph operator in the Maine woods. 
Once smooth out the land connections and there was 
no reason why wireless could not come as fast as 
cables. So The Times suddenly informed the offi- 
cials of the Marconi company that on an appointed 
date, about two weeks ahead, it would give them 
its entire London business. Suggestions for the 
prompt handling of this business were offered by 
The Times, Wires to Glace Bay were arranged for 
by the paper, and after much insistence by The 
Times the Marconi officials managed to get better 
service to Chfden. At the time named the new serv- 
ice was begun, and was a success from the start. 
From the middle of January, 191 2, to the outbreak 
of the war virtually all of The Times dispatches from 
London came by wireless; they arrived in good 
time; and in the beginning nobody was so surprised 
at the achievement as the officials of the wireless 
company. 

Present-day readers of The Times will remember 
281 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

the page — usually the third or fourth — headed 
**By Marconi Wireless Telegraph to The New 
York Times'' — which in those days contained each 
morning all the European news of interest to Ameri- 
can readers, except in the cases when something 
was important enough for the front page. If the 
wireless companies were startled, the cable com- 
panies were scandalized. The suspicion that this 
matter did not come by wireless at all was rather 
widely expressed; every cable company thought it 
was sent over the Hnes of its competitors. One of 
the chief cable experts in Germany, with truly Ger- 
man inability to realize that what had once been 
true was not necessarily still true, insisted weeks 
after the new plan was adopted that The Times was 
still getting all its foreign news by cable. There 
were men in Germany, however, who understood 
well enough the possibilities of the wireless tele- 
graph, and the time was not far away when Ger- 
many was to make more use of it than anybody 
ever dreamed in 191 2. 

When the war broke out the military importance 
of the wireless telegraph caused considerable restric- 
tions to be placed on its use, but it proved invaluable, 
particularly to American correspondents in Germany 
before 191 7. It would probably have come into gen- 
eral use during the war in any case, but its impor- 
tance would not have been so promptly recognized 
if The Times had not demonstrated two years earlier 
that the wireless was capable of doing a great deal 
of work in very good time. It is not pretended that 
the paper's motives in giving invaluable advertising 
and a very necessary stimulus to the wireless com- 

282 




MAJOR JULIUS 

<>CMS ADI.ER 

® Underwco^ & 

t'nderwood 



\RTHUR HAYS 
SULZBERGER. 

O. Underwood & 
T'nderwood. 



KATE L. STONE. 

ASSISTANTS TO THE PUBLISHER. 



MODERN NEWS-GATHERING, 1900-1914 

panics were entirely altruistic; when it had shown 
the wireless experts what they could do it got its 
European news at half the price of cables. As soon 
as other newspapers woke up sufficiently to realize 
what could be and was being done, they shared in 
the benefit. 

In other uses of the wireless The Times was again 
a pioneer. The naval fighting off Port Arthur in 
the Russo-Japanese War was covered for The London 
Times and The New York Times by Capt. Lionel 
James in a dispatch boat equipped with the De 
Forest wireless, through which he maintained com- 
munication from 150 miles out at sea with the cable 
station at Wei-Hai-Wei. The naval battle of April 
13, 1904, for instance, in which the Russian flag- 
ship Petropavlovsk was sunk, was reported to 
The Times from both land and sea — the official 
Russian version from Port Arthur coming by 
way of Petrograd, and Captain James's eyewitness 
reports sent by wireless from his boat and cables 
from Wei-Hai-Wei. Throughout the fighting around 
Port Arthur The Times thus had a long lead over 
its competitors — for though the Japanese Army was 
the first to break the long domination of war by the 
correspondents who wrote about it, and to intro- 
duce the modern idea that the war correspondent's 
place is in the home, their naval authorities had not 
yet sufficiently realized the importance and possible 
danger of wireless communication to put any restric- 
tion on James's activities. Perhaps, too, in that 
particular war the Japanese felt a certain reluctance 
to hamper the correspondent who represented the 
leading newspaper of an allied country, and what 

283 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

was becoming one of the most important papers 
in the most friendly neutral nation. 

The C Q D call from the White Star liner Republic, 
sinking in collision on January 23, 1909, which 
brought up other ships in time to save her 1600 
passengers, may have been obliterated from the 
memory of most readers by the greater and more 
spectacular marine disasters of more recent years; 
but it was a great news story in its day, and 
the more so since it was the first prominent in- 
stance in which wireless had proved of immense 
value in saving life at sea. All the papers had that 
story, of course, though the Republic^ s wireless oper- 
ator as a matter of course sent his story to The Times. 
If The Times handled the news somewhat better 
than some of the others, it was only because by 
that time The Times was learning the art of han- 
dling big stories with a thoroughness which had not 
yet been known in New York journalism. As a 
matter of fact, the first actual wireless call for help 
had come nearly three years earlier — from the 
Nantucket lightship, battered by storms, on De- 
cember 10, 1905. There again it was everybody's 
story. But The Times shares with The Chicago Trib- 
une the distinction of having printed the first news 
story sent by wireless of a rescue at sea. The 
freighter St. Cuthbert, afire oflF Cape Sable, on Feb- 
ruary 2, 1908, was sighted by the liner Cymric, which 
managed to rescue in a heavy sea thirty-seven of her 
crew of fifty-one. A correspondent of The Chicago 
Tribune aboard the Cymric sent the story to his own 
paper as soon as the liner was near enough to shore 
for the short-distance wireless of those days to com- 

284 



MODERN NEWS-GATHERING, 1900-1914 

municate with shore stations, and having sent the 
news he remembered that The New York Times was 
interested in anything connected with wireless teleg- 
raphy, and accordingly sent a query by wireless to find 
out if the paper wanted the story. It did, and it got it. 

These episodes of the past seem commonplace 
enough today, when the wireless is as much a mat- 
ter of course as the telegraph; when The Times has, 
as it has had for more than a year past, its own 
receiving station just off the news room on the third 
floor of the Times Annex, and receives there in addi- 
tion to its own dispatches everything else that comes 
through the air, even from such a distance as the 
Russian frontier, where the Bolshevist wireless oper- 
ators are sending out the daily fiction feuilleton of 
the Soviet Government. But in their day they were 
considerable achievements, requiring not only a good 
deal of work but a good deal of imagination and faith. 

Somewhat similar to certain of these demonstra- 
tions of the possibility of wireless telegraphy was 
the round-the-world cable message sent by The Times 
to itself on August 20, 191 1. The Commercial 
Cable Company had then lately opened its Pacific 
line, and The Times wanted to see just what could 
be done in the way of getting a message from New 
York across the country, across the Pacific, up 
through the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean 
and back to New York. A brief dispatch was re- 
ceived in the ofl&ce sixteen and a half minutes after 
it was sent, and this without any preliminary 'smooth- 
ing of the way such as speeds the congratulatory 
messages of Kings and Presidents opening a new line. 
To the nonprofessional reader this may seem pur- 

285 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

poseless, a mere advertising of The Times and inci- 
dentally of the cable companies. But it was not. 
It was a test of the possible speed of transmission 
of messages under ordinary conditions; it gave the 
editors of The Times some data by which they could 
estimate what ought to be expected in the case of 
real news, and thereby would necessarily keep the 
cable companies somewhat more alert to see that 
in the sending of news messages there would be no 
inexplicable delays. 

Perhaps, to complete the record of The Times in- 
terest in wireless telegraphy, it should be mentioned 
that the publisher of The Times bought some shares 
of stock in the American Marconi Company. He 
bought them at the market price, of course; bought 
them partly because he believed in the future of 
wireless telegraphy and thought they would be a 
good investment, and largely because he wanted to 
promote the development of an industry that prom- 
ised increased facilities and reduced rates for inter- 
national communications. This stock he eventually 
sold at a considerable loss. It deserves mention here 
only because the incident was distorted to make it 
appear that Mr. Ochs was in some mysterious way 
"involved in the English Marconi scandal." And 
although he never owned, bought or sold a single 
share of English Marconi stock, there are no doubt 
some people who have believed the story. As has 
been observed above, the people who will believe 
anything are regrettably numerous. 

Another of the modern arts in whose development 
The Times took a keen interest was aviation. In the 

286 



MODERN NEWS-GATHERING, 1900-1914 

decade before the war, indeed, aviation and wireless 
were the two chief special interests of the office. 
The Times published more news about their progress 
than its contemporaries, and gradually acquired a 
sort of special position in both aviation and wireless 
news, which attracted to it automatically a good 
deal of information about the progress of these arts. 
But in aviation as in wireless The Times did more 
than merely give publicity to what was going on. It 
promoted and inspired a good deal of the develop- 
ment in the early years of the new invention, and 
more than once was able to incite the experts to the 
accomplishment of things which of their own accord 
they would never have attempted. For in those days 
the art of aviation and of airplane construction was 
rather primitive. An airplane was a dangerous and 
incalculable machine, just how dangerous and incal- 
culable fliers alone knew. Editors of The Times, who 
did not have to do the flying, were perhaps rather 
insistent that the aviators should crowd their luck 
and see how far they could develop their art; but 
the fact remains that many of these enterprises 
would not have been attempted if the aviators had 
not been prodded — and none of them met with 
any misadventure while working for The Times. 

One of the first big display stories about aviation 
which The Times printed dealt with an exhibition 
promoted by another paper. On May 29, 1910, 
Glenn Curtiss flew from Albany to New York for a 
prize offered by The World. With an entirely rea- 
sonable caution, Mr. Curtiss was rather slow in get- 
ting away — so slow that The World apparently lost 
faith in him and announced that another aviator 

287 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

was on the way to Albany and would probably make 
the flight before Curtiss did. The Times had more 
confidence in Curtiss, as well as a fuller realization 
of the importance of this demonstration of the powers 
of the airplane; so when Curtiss did start, The Times 
was right under him with a special train and cov- 
ered the whole story much more fully than The 
World. A fortnight later, on June 13, 1910, Claude 
Hamilton flew from New York to Philadelphia and 
back in a single day for a prize off'ered by The Times. 
Eleven years have brought such progress in avia- 
tion that it is hard to realize what an achievement 
this was at the time; as a matter of fact, Hamil- 
ton's machine broke down in Jersey on the return 
trip, had to be patched up, and was brought back to 
New York at very great risk to the flier. 

In October of the same year The Times and The 
Chicago Evening Post promoted an aviation meet at 
Chicago, at the end of which there was to be a race 
from Chicago to New York for a ^25,000 prize of- 
fered by the two papers. The meet was a great 
success, artistically and financially; so great a suc- 
cess in the latter respect that the aviation company 
which got the gate receipts was rather reluctant to 
hazard its machines and its fliers on a trip to New 
York even for ^25,000. At last, however, on Oc- 
tober 10, Eugene Ely did make the attempt, only 
to come down just over the Indiana line. Aviation 
engineers tinkered with his engine for days and fi- 
nally concluded that it was impossible to go on; not 
till later was it discovered that nothing was the mat- 
ter with it except that a clot of mud had stopped up 
an air valve and prevented ignition. But for that, 

288 



MODERN NEWS-GATHERING, 1900-1914 

there is a chance that the flight from Chicago to 
New York — possibly even a non-stop flight — 
might have been completed without mishap. 

It was six years before The Times again tried to 
promote a flight from Chicago to New York. This 
time it was to be a non-stop flight, with Victor Carl- 
strom of the Curtiss staff trying it alone. In that 
interval the war had forced aviation to an unex- 
pected development, and fliers in Europe were doing 
things that could not have been dreamed of three 
or four years earlier. But once more the attempt 
was unsuccessful as a non-stop flight, and again be- 
cause of a trivial mishap — a loose nut on a feed 
pipe which had somehow escaped the attention of 
the battahon of engineers and mechanics who had 
examined the machine. Carlstrom spent the night 
at Hammondsport, N. Y., and finished the flight to 
New York next day. This episode is notable also 
in that the American Telephone and Telegraph Com- 
pany developed for The Tunes a quite efficient news 
service, having instructed all its agents along the 
line of Carlstrom's flight to keep watch for the aviator 
and report instantly when he appeared. 

Always in those years The Times was eager to find 
out what aviators were doing, and to encourage them 
to do still more. Among its other endeavors to pro- 
mote aerial navigation may be mentioned the offer 
of a cup for a flight from Boston to Washington in 
July, 191 1, which was won by Harry Atwood, and 
its promotion of an air race around Manhattan Is- 
land in October, 191 3, in connection with the Aero- 
nautical Society's meet. Not long after that the 
war broke out, and aviation was forced to a devel- 

289 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

opment which no longer needed any journalistic 
stimulus. 

The two great special interests of The Times were 
combined in an enterprise which the paper promoted 
in conjunction with The Londo7i Daily Telegraph 
and The Chicago Record-Herald in October, 1910 — 
Walter Wellman's attempt to fly across the Atlantic 
in a dirigible balloon. Wellman succeeded in flying 
about a thousand miles, but unfortunately not in a 
straight line, as a northeast wind caught him off" 
Nantucket and drove him down to the latitude of 
Hatteras, where he and his companions were rescued 
by a passing steamer. Though the attempt to cross 
the Atlantic was unsuccessful, Wellman's dirigible, 
of course infinitely more primitive than the airships 
which finally did make the flight in 1919, made a 
record creditable enough for that period. In the first 
hours of the flight Wellman kept in communication 
with The Times by wireless — the first time, as far 
as can be learned, that an aviation story was cov- 
ered by wireless from the air — and the wireless 
again brought the news of his rescue out at sea, 
though in this case the messages were dispatched 
from the rescuing steamer. 

The automobile business was at this period going 
through the transition from a dangerous sport of the 
idle rich to a basic industry meeting the needs of the 
proletariat. Automobile news for a long time was 
prominent in every paper, more prominent than it 
is now, because the automobile attracted both a 
sporting and a commercial interest. Its promotion, 
however, was being taken care of by so many people 

290 



MODERN NEWS-GATHERING, 1900-1914 

that The Times, though pubHshing very full and 
trustworthy automobile news, had no occasion to do 
in this field anything like its work in aviation and 
wireless. One event, however, it did promote — a 
New York-to-Paris automobile race, in collaboration 
with the Paris Matin, early in 1908. 

If one single news story published in The Times in 
this period were to be m.arked out as more famous 
than all the rest, it would have to be Admiral Peary's 
story of the discovery of the North Pole. Before 
Peary started north on his final trip The Times had 
arranged for exclusive news publication of his story 
in New York and had agreed to act as his agent in 
seUing other rights. It had advanced $4000 to him, 
as he needed that much to make the expedition pos- 
sible, to be repaid out of the profits from the use and 
sale of the rights to Peary's story of the trip. As 
it turned out, Peary's story sold so well that he 
realized through The Times nearly three times this 
amount. 

It was, accordingly, a good deal of a disappoint- 
ment to the conductors of The Times when early in 
September, 1909, Peary being still absent beyond 
communication in the north, the little known Dr. 
Frederick Cook suddenly appeared en route to 
Copenhagen and announced that he had discovered 
the Pole on April 21 of the previous year. 

The Times' s reaction to the news was, however, 
about the same as the reaction of nearly everybody 
else. It was inchned to give Dr. Cook the benefit 
of the doubt, and, when more details of his alleged 
exploit began to come in and proved to be vague, 

291 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

confusing and rather suspicious, The Times was still, 
like most other people, inclined to wait for proof 
before discrediting the story. 

But all this was changed when on September 6, 
while Cook was dining with the King of Denmark 
and receiving all the honors that Copenhagen could 
bestow, Peary reached Indian Harbor and sent word 
to The Times by wireless and cable that he had 
found the Pole. Everybody believed Peary; he was 
an explorer and scientist of the highest standing, 
and the whole world took his word. The trouble 
began a day or two later when Peary informed his 
family, and the public, that Cook's story need not 
be taken seriously. By that time Cook had sold 
the right of publication of his narrative to The New 
York Herald, which had syndicated it everywhere. 
It turned out to be a bad bargain for The Herald, 
but it was an excellent bargain for Cook in more 
ways than one. Aside from the price he received — 
which, according to rumor, was, through a mistake 
in cable transmission, ten times what he had asked, 
but which to James Gordon Bennett seemed not 
exorbitant for what Cook had to offer — he found 
at once a large number of newspapers enrolled on 
his side and compelled in their own interest to ad- 
vocate his claims to the very last. 

It may be said that The Times was in luck and 
The Herald was out of luck. But it was not a ques- 
tion of luck; The Times had reason for putting up 
money for Peary's story before he started north, for 
he was the most experienced and probably the most 
renowned of Arctic explorers. In so far as success 
in reaching the Pole was not a matter of chance, 

29Z 



MODERN NEWS-GATHERING, 1900-1914 

Peary was a better bet than anybody else. Ben- 
nett's purchase of Cook's story, after Cook had as- 
serted that he had discovered the Pole, was natural 
enough, for nobody knew much about Cook then. 
It must be regarded as an unfortunate lapse from 
impartiality of judgment, however, that the papers 
which had published Cook's story for the most part 
felt that they had to believe it, or at any rate to 
pretend that they beheved it. 

Peary's detailed story came through by wireless 
rather slowly, and was published in The Times on 
September 9, 10 and 11, 1909. In the meantime a 
correspondent of The London Chronicle, Philip Gibbs, 
who was to become famous as a war correspondent 
a few years later — and more famous through the 
American publication of his work in The New York 
Times and papers which bought the news from The 
Times than even his home paper made him — had 
subjected Dr. Cook and his story to an intensive 
study, and had come to the conclusion that there 
was nothing in it. For a few days Gibbs was almost 
alone in saying this outright, but Peary's heated de- 
nunciations of Cook forced the issue and the world- 
wide civil war was on. In the promotion of domestic 
strife in every nation, in the setting of households 
against each other and bringing not peace, but a 
sword to every breakfast table. Cook and Peary did 
better than Lenin and Trotzky ever dreamed of 

doing. 

That war is ancient history, and there is no longer 
any doubt as to who was right. The Times, which 
had obtained the North Pole story on its own ini- 
tiative, was equally successful in obtaining the ac- 

293 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

counts of the two discoveries of the South Pole by 
Amundsen and Scott, though in both cases it could 
do no more than buy the American rights from 
British owners — in the case of Scott, the Central 
News; in the case of Amundsen, The London Chron- 
icle. Of course, exclusive rights to American publi- 
cation of great news stories of this sort were not 
any too widely respected. The narratives of Amund- 
sen and Scott were stolen and published by other 
newspapers, though The Times owned the copyright. 
Naturally, The Times sued all the New York news- 
papers that republished these stories without per- 
mission. The suits failed on technical points. The 
common-law sanction of a right of prior pubHcation 
by the purchaser or gatherer of news, finally estab- 
hshed in the litigation by which The Associated 
Press compelled the Hearst services to stop the prac- 
tice of '* lifting" Associated Press bulletins, had not 
yet been established when these cases were tried, 
and The Times got no material compensation from 
those who had infringed its rights. But its lawsuits 
did have one important and valuable result; at each 
successive stage of the suits, when technical decisions 
went against The Times, the appropriating news- 
papers gleefully announced their victory, telling 
their readers over and over how The Times had 
bought the news but they had been able to take 
it and '*get away with it." This unintentional ad- 
vertisement of The Times was quite helpful. 

Of the great news stories of the period to which 
everybody had access, and in dealing with which an 
individual newspaper could distinguish itself only by 
specially competent treatment, the one most vividly 

294 



MODERN NEWS-GATHERING, 1900-1914 

remembered in The Times office is the sinking of the 
Titanic in April, 191 2. The Times was more for- 
tunate than other papers in handHng that story cor- 
rectly from the moment when the news of the first 
wireless call for help was received in newspaper 
offices. "More fortunate*' is the proper term, for the 
general conviction that the Titanic was unsinkable 
was so strong, and so gallantly maintained for 
twenty-four hours after the disaster by the officials 
of the White Star Line, that there was good excuse 
for reluctance to believe that the disaster had been 
serious. 

It happened that The Times by careful compari- 
son of the first dispatches about the collision with 
the iceberg and by repeated inquiries of its own 
promptly made up its mind that the Titanic was 
gone. It held to that view all through the con- 
fused reports of the next day, even though officials 
of the line still asserted that there was no news con- 
firming the suspicion; and it was right. 

When the Carpathia landed with the survivors 
The Times covered the story more completely than 
any other New York paper, though they all did 
their best. One feature, the stories told by the 
Titanic^s two wireless operators, though arranged 
for by wireless before the Carpathians arrival, could 
not have been obtained when the ship docked but 
for the opportune assistance of Senator Marconi; 
but the rest of the news was gathered by the dili- 
gence of The Times^s own reporters, who performed 
feats of interviewing on that night which showed 
the high standard of news-getting ability to which the 
staff had been brought. Altogether, the paper 

295 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

printed fifteen pages of news about the Titanic the 
next morning. Its work on this famous story ex- 
cited widespread admiration, and members of The 
Times staff visiting the offices of European news- 
papers have been gratified to learn that some of 
them had considered copies of The Times of that 
period worthy of preservation as models to be studied. 
Even certain New York editors wrote to friends in 
The Times office expressing ungrudging admiration. 

The Times^s political news in this period was 
steadily gaining wider recognition for trustworthiness. 
Like everything else on The Times, the political cor- 
respondence was less spectacular than that of some 
other papers, but in the long run it was apt to be 
more trustworthy. There were, however, a number 
of outstanding feats of news enterprise which sup- 
plied the spectacular element from time to time. 
Such was, for example, the publication in advance 
of the draft of the Republican national platform of 
1908, as drawn up by the leaders of the Roosevelt 
forces at the convention. President Roosevelt at 
once went into eruption upon seeing this news in 
The Times, and declared that it was not a correct 
version. But when the platform was adopted and 
made known to the world it was found to differ 
only in half a dozen minor points of phraseology 
from the version printed in The Times — which, of 
course, was presented as nothing more than the 
draft agreed on by the dominating Rvoosevelt faction 
at the time of publication. This achievement set 
a precedent to which Times political reporters have 
managed to live up ever since; in most subsequent 

296 



MODERN NEWS-GATHERING, 1900-1914 

campaign years The Times has managed to obtain 
the platform of one or the other national conven- 
tions before it was formally given out to the press 
at large. 

Accomplishments such as this are the result of 
long preparation; they imply a well-organized staff 
of veteran political reporters with a wide acquaint- 
ance, with many friends in high place, and with 
qualities that command confidence. An illustration 
of the competence of The Times political staff under 
different circumstances was afforded at Mr. Taft's 
inauguration in 1909. It may be remembered that 
in that year a blizzard suddenly descended on Wash- 
ington on the night of March 3, and by the time 
the inauguration ceremonies had been concluded the 
next day practically all the telephone and telegraph 
wires leading out of the town were out of commis- 
sion. The stories of the day's events written by 
The Times staff were prepared in quintuplicate. 
One copy was kept on file in the office of the Wash- 
ington correspondent of The Times, and all through 
the evening desperate but unavailing efforts were 
made to get this through on the leased wires or by 
telephone. Another was filed with the Western 
Union for transmission on any other wires they 
might be able to open. Two more were dispatched 
by messengers on trains for New York. Both trains 
were held up by snowdrifts, but one of them reached 
Philadelphia late at night and the copy was tele- 
graphed on by The Times correspondent there. But 
before it reached the office, most of the news had 
already arrived. The Times managed to find a tele- 
graph wire open from Washington to New Orleans, 

297 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

and the fifth copy of each story was sent over that 
wire to New Orleans, thence to Chicago, thence to 
Albany, and finally into the office in New York, 
circhng the area devastated by the bhzzard. The 
Times had all its special dispatches about the inau- 
guration in its first edition the next morning. 

The Times was able on occasion not only to get 
news from politicians but to send news to politicians. 
During the Democratic National Convention at 
Baltimore in 191 2 special trains brought down every 
morning the city edition of The Times, so that be- 
fore the morning sessions had begun the delegates 
were reading the news of what they had been doing 
up to four or five o'clock that morning — and since 
the work of national conventions is mostly done after 
midnight in smoke-filled rooms, there is a big dif- 
ference between the first edition and the last edition 
in convention week. It might be mentioned here 
that during the Republican convention at Chicago 
last year The Times sent a moderately late edition, 
carrying news received up to three a.m., to Chicago 
by airplane. 

In 1903 Thomas A. Janvier wrote for The Times 
a. series of articles on the early history of New York, 
and the paper announced a competition for the 
school children of the city in the writing of essays 
based on Janvier's articles. The interest aroused 
by this was enormous. In thousands of homes the 
entire family was excited by the son's or daughter's 
effort to win one of the prizes or medals offered for 
the best compositions, and the result was not only 
an increase in the circulation of The Times, which, of 

298 




LAYING THE CORNERSTONE, 
TIMES BUILDING, JANUARY 18, 1904. 




TIMES SQUARE, 
THE CENTRE FOR NEWS. 



MODERN NEWS-GATHERING, 1900-1914 

course, was the principal purpose of the competition, 
but the educating of a great many children, and a 
great many parents, in the past of a city whose his- 
tory is less known to its inhabitants than probably 
any other in America. It hardly needs to be said 
that the increase in circulation created by this com- 
petition would have been only temporary and illu- 
sory if new readers attracted to The Times, who first 
read it in order to see what chance Johnny or Gladys 
was likely to have of getting a medal, had not found 
that it was worth reading all the time. The con- 
test was a good piece of advertising, but it would 
not have brought results if the merchandise adver- 
tised had not been satisfactory. 

The results which it did bring were so gratifying 
that The Times has done the same thing on several 
occasions since then — notably in 1909, when in 
commemoration of the Lincoln centenary there was 
a competition of essays based on a series of articles 
on the Hfe of Lincoln by Frederic Trevor Hill. But 
though these competitions were always useful, both 
to The Times and to those who participated in them, 
none of the later ones had the effect of the first. 
For in 1903 the idea had been new and striking in 
its novelty; and it was so eflFective that all the 
other papers soon imitated it. 

But the story of those years is, after all, the story 
of a steadily improving news service, a staff con- 
stantly more alert for news, and better educated in 
the handling of news. There are other stories, many 
of them, that were important enough at the time, 
but are hardly relevant to the history of The Times 

299 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

as a whole. One or two of them may be mentioned 
as indicative of certain tendencies which have be- 
come more prominent in the character of The Times 
in more recent years. When Theodore Roosevelt, 
returning from Africa, made his famous speech at 
the Guildhall, London, on June i8, 1910, The Times 
had a verbatim report of it sent by cable. The 
idea that the public would be interested in every 
word of a speech delivered at a great distance was 
then a novel one; it was still novel years later, in 
the war, when The Times developed the habit of 
publishing in full the speeches of Lloyd George, of 
Bethmann-Hollweg, Hertling and Czernin, and 
other leaders of the European Governments. In 
this process, which may be described as the docu- 
mentation of current history. The Times has always 
maintained a long lead over its rivals. Other papers 
may think that the public does not want to read 
long speeches, and will be satisfied with a summary 
and a few quotations. The Times has found that 
at least in such a crisis as the World War a large 
part of the public is interested in long speeches, ver- 
batim speeches; that on some occasions every word 
of such speeches is news. Roosevelt's Guildhall 
speech was news, and deserved to be printed in full. 
As a matter of /act, the idea that a speech which 
would be printed in full if it were delivered in New 
York, with an advance copy sent to the city editor, 
can be dismissed with a column summary if it is 
delivered in London or Paris, has no sound founda- 
tion. It rests on a tradition coming down from the 
days when cables were few and press cablegrams 
necessarily brief and expensive. With modern facili- 

300 



MODERN NEWS-GATHERING, 1900-1914 

ties of communication, there is no reason why news 
from London, Paris and BerHn cannot be handled as 
its importance deserves. 

The great development of The Times sporting 
news has come since the end of the war, but on cer- 
tain occasions before the war it covered big sport- 
ing events rather more fully than was its custom. 
One of these was the Jeffries- Johnson fight at Reno 
in 1910, when the stories sent by regular members 
of The Times staff were supplemented by expert 
criticism contributed by John L. Sullivan. Mr. 
Sullivan, though then appearing for the first time 
as a journalist, knew enough about prize fighting to 
make, and defend, the prediction that Johnson was 
going to win; which, being contrary to the wish and 
belief of a majority of the public, brought to The 
Times a. considerable volume of protest. However, 
Sullivan was right. On the value of these occasional 
contributions from outside experts there may be di- 
vergent opinions; but at any rate the paper which 
published the first literary works of Henry Adams 
and John L. Sullivan may be credited with a cer- 
tain breadth of taste, as well as with a keen reali- 
zation of the variety of belletristic talent produced 
in Boston. 

Perhaps two matters of special interest to The 
Times may here be mentioned, although their most 
notable development falls in a later period. One of 
the hobbies of the paper has been the protection of 
the city parks. Special interests of this sort are 
more in the line of some other New York papers; in 
general The Times has not given much attention to 

301 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

them, for while realizing that they offer consider- 
able opportunities for public service it considers 
them outside the field of straight newspaper work 
to which it is devoted. Its interest in the parks, 
however, has seemed necessary, since it is a duty 
which has been neglected by others. 

The number and variety of the schemes for the 
invasion of city parks, especially Central Park, would 
be inconceivable to those who have not had occasion 
to study them. From such magnificent schemes as 
the cutting up of the whole park into building lots 
down to trivial incursions, ostensibly for special or 
temporary purposes, almost every use has been 
suggested for Central Park by persons who call them- 
selves practical men. It has seemed to the manage- 
ment of The Times that the most practical use of 
Central Park, or any other park, is to keep it as a 
park — as a place where residents of the city may 
get into the open air and make some effort to get 
back to a sort of nature. Some of the other plans 
for using the park space have been well enough in- 
tended, but The Times has always thought that New 
York needed it as a park more than as an athletic 
field, a site for pubHc buildings, or anything else. 

The most notable incident in this long and 
measurably successful struggle to preserve the park 
against encroachments, and the most difficult, be- 
cause the aims of those who wanted to invade the 
park were excellent in themselves, was the "park 
trench*' episode in the spring of 1918. The mem- 
bers of the Liberty Loan Committee, then in the 
fourth loan campaign, had allowed themselves to be 
persuaded by an enthusiastic publicity man that 

302 



MODERN NEWS-GATHERING, 1900-1914 

popular interest could be aroused by the exhibition 
in New York of a model trench sector such as those 
in which American soldiers were fighting in France 

— which was correct — and that the place for this 
exhibition was the Sheep Meadow in Central Park 

— which to The Times seemed entirely erroneous. 
The damage that would have been done to the park 
by the digging of trenches, though considerable, 
could have been repaired; the harm done to the idea 
of the integrity of the park could not have been re- 
paired. For that was in the palmy days of drives 

— drives for all sorts of causes, most of them worthy. 
The Liberty Loan campaigns being the greatest and 
most obviously necessary drives, minor enterprises 
were inclined to follow their lead. Had the prece- 
dent once been established of using the park for 
visual education of this sort, every drive that fol- 
lowed would have come forward with the same de- 
mand; and it would have been as difficult to draw 
the Hne between drives which wanted to get into the 
park as it was later found to discriminate between 
campaigners who wanted space on the steps of the 
Public Library, or the privilege of soliciting con- 
tributions in the public schools. 

The fight to keep the trenches out of the park is 
perhaps remembered chiefly because it produced 
Mayor Hylan's memorable remark about "art ar- 
tists." But it is worthy of remembrance because it 
succeeded in keeping the trenches out of the park. 
In the course of the campaign The Times had occa- 
sion to do a good deal in the way of educating the 
public in the elementary philosophy of parks — a 
task it had undertaken before, but never at such 

303 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

length or with such earnestness. It may be hoped 
that this effort was not without effect, and that a 
somewhat larger percentage of the population of 
New York City now understands that the purpose 
of setting aside land for a park is to have a park, 
and not to provide a convenient building site for 
some structure intended for a worthy purpose, whose 
promoters do not want to pay the current prices of 
real estate. 

The defense of the parks is a matter in which The 
Times has felt under obligation to take up a public 
duty neglected by others. The other special inter- 
est of the paper mentioned above is still more pecu- 
liarly its own, for it was invented by the pub- 
lisher of The Times. This is the annual Christmas 
appeal for the Hundred Neediest Cases, chosen from 
the lists of four of the leading charitable societies in 
the city. The appeal was first ipade in 191 2, and 
aroused an interest that increased from year to 
year. By 1920 the individual contributions had 
mounted into the thousands, and a total of more 
than ^111,000 was raised — every cent of which 
goes directly to the relief of the cases whose history 
is told in The Times, or others like them, and only 
less needy, when the first hundred have been re- 
lieved; for in several years the response was sufficient 
to cover more than two hundred cases, comprehend- 
ing about a thousand persons each year. The ad- 
ministrative expenses come out of the general funds 
of the charitable societies, so that all the money 
raised by the appeals goes directly for relief. The 
total of contributions in each year's appeal is here 
tabulated: 

304 



MODERN NEWS-GATHERING, 1900-1914 

1912 $ 3,630.88 

1913 9>646.36 

1914 i5>032.46 

1915 31,819.92 

1916 55792.45 

1917 62,103.47 

1918 81,097.57 

1919 106,967.14 

1920 111,131.00 

What has been accompHshed by this appeal? 
First of all, of course, the relief of hundreds of desti- 
tute famiHes — the raising of hundreds of thou- 
sands of dollars, most if not all of which would never 
have been contributed to charity if The Times had 
not, day after day, in the weeks before Christmas of 
each year, presented the stories of these families who 
were in desperate need. With few exceptions, the 
cases selected for presentation in these appeals have 
been famihes, or individuals, who needed only tem- 
porary help in order to get back on their feet again 
and become able to pay their way. That this result 
has been achieved in hundreds of instances is proved 
by the records of the charitable societies. Many 
orphan children have been adopted into kindly 
homes. Some of those who were aided in the earlier 
years have since been listed among the contributors 
to the fund. More and more of them will appear in 
this character as time goes on, and children who 
have been aided to get an education, or whose dis- 
abled parents have been enabled to bring them up 
properly, become self-supporting members of society. 

But the wider usefulness of the annual campaigns 
lies in the education of the public. Many people 

305 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

who have never given to organized charity before 
are stirred by this Christmas appeal; and when they 
have once begun to learn something about the des- 
titution which is always to be found in New York 
City, their interest is apt to continue and they be- 
come regular contributors. Some of them go fur- 
ther and give personal attention to charitable work; 
and all of them learn something about the nature of 
that work, and the conditions which it is trying to 
improve. The conductors of The Times do not 
know the solution of the problem of poverty, nor 
even if there is a solution; but they think that a so- 
lution is more likely to be found if everybody 
studies the problem. 

These considerations were in large part responsi- 
ble for the refusal, by the management of The TimeSy 
of the offer of ^1,000,000 as a standing endowment, 
the interest on which should be applied to the relief 
of the Hundred Neediest Cases, on condition that 
The Times should undertake the investigation of the 
cases and the administration of the fund. A suffi- 
cient reason for refusing this offer was the fact that 
The Times is a newspaper and not a charitable so- 
ciety, and that its conductors find that getting out a 
newspaper takes all their time and ability. It was 
felt that the gentleman who made this offer could 
do more effective work for the relief of poverty if he 
allowed his money to be handled by the people who 
have given a lifetime of study and practice to relief 
work. 

Such a magnificent gift might have inclined other 
possible contributors to think that the need had 
already been met. And it can never be fully met, 

306 




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MODERN NEWS-GATHERING, 1900-1914 

at least not until everybody in New York has come 
to understand it. The educational value of the annual 
campaigns has certainly been great, and is greater 
every year. Indeed, they have already won their 
place in literature; Mr. Robert W. Chambers pre- 
sented as the heroine of one of his recent novels an 
orphan who had been adopted by a wealthy gentle- 
man after he had read her story as one of the 
Hundred Neediest Cases. 

On April i, 191 3, The Times abandoned the seven- 
column page which it had presented to its readers 
for the past forty-eight years and went to eight col- 
umns. The change was chiefly due to a conviction 
that the narrower column was somewhat easier to 
read, but it was also based in some degree upon the 
need of getting more reading matter into the paper 
without increasing the size of the page. Already 
the number of pages had increased, though it was 
not yet foreseen that the time would come when the 
paper would print forty pages on a week day, as 
happened occasionally in 1919. 

But The Times, increasing the quantity of its of- 
fering to readers, had maintained the same quality 
which it had always presented. It was still the 
same solid, dignified, reliable paper; the only differ- 
ence was that it was appealing to more and more 
readers every year. 

The average circulation, which had been more 
than 102,000 in the jubilee year, rose gradually to 
143,460 in 1907; leaped the next year to 172,880; 
passed 200,000 in 191 1; reached 225,392 in 1912, and 
was around the quarter-million mark at the out- 

307 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

break of the war, when the great achievements of 
The Times news service sent it leaping once more. 

Though its worldwide renown was chiefly a growth 
of the war years, The Times was already recognized 
as one of the great newspapers of the country, great 
not only in circulation and volume of business, but 
in character. A good many people did not like the 
kind of paper which The Times was and always had 
been, but they had to admit that it was an excellent 
paper of the kind, and more and more people every 
year were coming to prefer that kind. 

In the articles on New York journalism written 
by Will Irwin for Collier s Weekly in 191 1 The Times 
was called a "commercial newspaper'' — a some- 
what curious epithet, since all newspapers are con- 
ducted with the purpose, even if that object is not 
always attained, of making a profit. Mr. Irwin was 
compelled, however, to admit that The Times came 
*'the nearest of any newspaper to presenting a truth- 
ful picture of life in New York and the world at 
large," and indeed his only criticism was that it did 
not crusade. This, of course, was during the muck- 
raking epoch, and it is a striking tribute to The 
Times that in that day when every institution was 
being violently assaulted a muckraker could find 
nothing to say against the paper except that it did 
not wield the muckrake. 

The great news feats mentioned above all played 
their part in attracting attention to the paper and 
winning new readers, but it cannot be repeated too 
often that in the newspaper business as in any other 
business customers who are attracted by advertis- 
ing can be held only by the quality of the merchan- 

308 



MODERN NEWS-GATHERING, 1900-1914 

dise. For whatever reason people began to read 
The Times, they continued to read it because they 
found it an enterprising and trustworthy newspaper. 
The essay competitions had taken it into the pubHc 
schools, where in many cases it came to be regarded 
as the best guide to current events. And in private 
schools, too. The Times was always welcomed where 
some of its competitors were regarded with a suspi- 
cious eye. The proprietor of its ablest rival in the 
morning newspaper field once graciously called at- 
tention to the fact that The Ti7nes was the only 
morning newspaper taken at the select school which 
his daughter attended. 



309 



CHAPTER IV 

Some Aspects of Business Policy 

nnHE TIMES had begun to gain circulation very 
-^ soon after the new pubHsher took charge. With 
this, of course, went an enormous increase in the 
business of the paper. There was built up an un- 
usually efficient business department, managed for 
many years past by Louis Wiley and previously by 
the late John Norris. Within four years after the 
assumption of control by the new management the 
circulation of The Times, at the beginning of the 
new century, had reached 100,000; ten years later 
it had passed 200,000, and now in the twenty-fifth 
year of the present management it circulates an 
average of 330,000 copies on week days and 500,000 
on Sundays. 

And this is a genuine circulation. There are no 
return privileges which permit of subtle distinctions 
between the number of papers distributed and the 
number sold, nor has the circulation been padded or 
inflated by any irregular methods. Some illustrations 
of the principles of The Times on this point may 
here be offered with apologies to the well-intentioned 
friends of the paper with whose ideas the manage- 
ment was unable to agree. 

One day during the Presidential campaign of 1900 
the Republican National Committee happened to 
be meeting in New York. That morning The Times 

310 



SOME ASPECTS OF BUSINESS POLICY 

carried an editorial on the issues of the campaign 
which struck the Republican managers as about the 
most forcible presentation of the case which they 
had seen anywhere. Mr. Luther Little of the Com- 
mittee was accordingly instructed to call on the 
publisher to express the Committee's thanks and 
appreciation and to order one million copies of that 
issue for distribution. 

To his profound surprise, the publisher of The Times 
refused to accept the order. He felt that the wide 
free distribution of a marked newspaper might easily 
create, in the minds of many who received it, a false 
impression to the effect that the appearance of the 
article and the purchase of the copies might be in 
some way a bargain. The TimeSy of course, would 
not receive payment of any sort for what appeared 
in its reading columns, and it did not want to incur 
even the suspicion. Mr. Little argued, not without 
plausibility, that The Times must have printed that 
editorial hoping that people would read it, and here 
a million more readers were offered. But the pub- 
lisher of the paper felt that readers of that sort 
would do the paper little good, while the accompany- 
ing suspicions would do positive harm. 

The conductors of The Times were publishing a 
paper for the people who Hked the sort of paper 
they were publishing. They did not want it forced 
on anybody's attention or given away free because 
it contained something which happened to strike 
the fancy of gentlemen who were able to order and 
distribute a million copies. Circulation of such char- 
acter, it was felt, could do the paper no good and 
might do a great deal of harm. The only readers 

3" 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

The Times sought were readers who would buy the 
paper because they wanted it. They did not wish it 
to be classed with the sort of campaign literature 
that is distributed free. 

A somewhat similar issue arose in the same cam- 
paign when the Republican State Committee of 
New Jersey wanted to buy 20,000 copies of The 
Times every day during the last three months of 
the canvass. This proposal also was declined. This 
sort of thing had been a commonplace of the polit- 
ical journalism of an earlier period. The weekly 
editions of such New York newspapers as had strong 
partisan sympathies, in the sixties and seventies had 
been in campaign years little more than campaign 
pamphlets, full of praise of the party's candidates, 
violent attacks on the opposition, and argument in 
defence of the party's position; and for their circula- 
tion in those years they had depended largely on 
the party committees, which bought and distributed 
many thousands of copies. 

This, of course, was in effect a subsidy from the 
party to the paper, but according to the journalistic 
ethics of past years there was nothing irregular about 
accepting it. By 1900 newspaper standards in some 
quarters were somewhat higher, but still the action 
of the management of The Times surprised a good 
many newspaper men, as well as the party managers, 
who had supposed that the paper would regard the 
proposed arrangement as advantageous to both sides. 

The reluctance of The Times was not due simply 
to the fact that it was not a Republican paper and 
did not want to become identified in any way with 
the party leadership. Its conductors felt that The 

312 



SOME ASPECTS OF BUSINESS POLICY 

Times had no right to accept compensation in any 
form for its editorial opinion, even though that com- 
pensation was after the fact and the opinion had 
been formed without any expectation of it. 

This question has been raised several times since 
in somewhat different form, and without political 
connections. A number of requests have been made 
for a considerable number of copies of the paper for 
free distribution on account of an article appearing 
in the editorial or news columns. Always the re- 
quest has been refused, though permission to reprint 
articles from The Times for distribution has been 
freely granted, on condition that the reprint contain 
some statement making it clear that The Times had 
no hand in the distribution. It has been the pub- 
lisher's opinion that this policy prevented the 
growth of mistaken opinions not only outside, but 
more particularly within The Times office. He was 
seeking the confidence of the public, but he regarded 
as still more essential the confidence of those who 
were associated with him in making the newspaper. 
Mr. Ochs has always felt that he need not be con- 
cerned about public opinion with respect to The 
Times if its editors believe in his sincere desire for 
clean, honest work. 

Some years ago a prominent Western manufac- 
turer wrote to The Times and ordered the paper sent 
daily for a year to fifty clergymen in his town. His 
reason was that he regarded The Times as a good 
newspaper, in fact, the best newspaper, and he 
thought that ministers in a small city of the interior 
might have their outlook on the world broadened by 
the study of its pages. 

313 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

The Times refused to send the papers to the ad- 
dresses he had forwarded. The pubUsher held that 
the orders could be filled only if they came with the 
knowledge and consent of the recipients, that is, if 
they really wanted the paper. The Times was not 
to be forced on anybody who had not asked for it, 
and it was not to be distributed in quantity by out- 
siders, thereby perhaps incurring the suspicion that 
it was in some way an organ or a mouthpiece for 
the views of the individuals or classes accelerating its 
distribution. 

More recently the same question was raised by a 
banker in South Carolina, who admired The Times 
financial news and its editorial discussions of finan- 
cial problems. He thought that the bankers of his 
state, incHned to be absorbed in their own local 
affairs, would be better off for learning something 
about world trade and world finance, and, accord- 
ingly, ordered The Times sent regularly to 450 of 
them at his expense. In this case, again. The Times 
could not but regard this as a compHment, and had 
no doubt whatever of the correct intentions of the 
man who wanted to pay for the papers. But again 
the publisher felt that, while it might be good for 
South Carolina bankers to read The Times, it was not 
good for The Times to be distributed gratis. 

The banker who had made the offer still thought 
that his colleagues needed education, so when The 
Times refused to fill his order he attempted partially 
to carry out his purpose through the medium of a 
Charleston newsdealer. The sudden increase of 450 
copies in this dealer's order at once aroused suspicion 
in the oflSce, and when this suspicion was verified 

314 




JOHN H. FINLEY, 

Associate Editor. 



SOME ASPECTS OF BUSINESS POLICY 

The Times, although rather gratified by this evidence 
of the persistent conviction of the banker that it 
was a good paper, refused to fill the order. 

It may be addec' that in the belief of the man- 
agement these principles are not in conflict with the 
action of certain large hotels which see advantage 
to themselves in providing each guest in his room 
with a copy of The Times every morning. 

It can be assumed from these illustrations that 
there is nothing artificial about The Times's circu- 
lation. Its subscribers are people who desire it, who 
want it, and who know why they want it. 

Of course, the increase in circulation brought with 
it a great increase in advertising. The volume of 
advertising pubHshed in 1896 had been more than 
quadrupled by 1914, and the rates were several times 
increased during this period. The Times has not 
been always a single-rate paper in the strictest sense 
of the word, but it has always been a single-rate 
paper to the extent that everybody paid the same 
price for the same service. 

The advertising rates have been very slowly ad- 
vanced with the greatest consideration for the ad- 
vertiser's problem in adjusting his appropriation for 
space in The Times to the increased rates. And 
whereas the net return to The Times per column in 
1896, with a circulation of less than 20,000, was ^45, 
in 1921 the rate for a circulation of 340,000 — ■ more 
than seventeen times larger — was only ^150. 

The management of The Times has always felt 
that all good advertising, that is honest advertising, 
has a certain news value. It is information for the 

31S 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

public, of some interest and advantage to the public. 
In discriminating between advertisements, when 
limitations of space compelled discrimination, it has 
been the policy to give preference so far as possible 
to advertising which possessed news interest in a 
higher degree. 

It is not to be supposed that anybody seriously 
believes any longer that The Times is in any way 
controlled or influenced in its editorial policies by its 
advertisers. Some papers may be so influenced, 
though it may be doubted if this could be said of any 
important one in New York City. The papers which 
are too tender of advertisers' feelings are, naturally, 
poor papers, financially poor, which cannot aff'ord to 
lose advertising. In recent years The Times has 
sometimes been compelled to refuse advertising, 
off'ered for insertion in a single day, the total amount 
of which would have filled many pages and yielded 
perhaps ^20,000, because it did not have room enough 
to hold all that was offered; so no sane man is likely 
to suppose that its policies are affected by the wishes 
of any advertiser. 

However, The Times has not always been prosper- 
ous. In poverty as in aflfluence, none the less, it has 
always held the same principles, and in consequence 
it has had a number of disagreements with advertisers 
who thought that somehow their business dealings 
with The Times gave them the privilege of complain- 
ing of its editorial positions, its news pubhcations, 
or its business policies. 

In one instance, at least, and a rather important 
one, in the early history of the present management 
twenty years ago, an advertiser came into conflict 

316 



SOME ASPECTS OF BUSINESS POLICY 

with the paper on a point of advertising policy. A 
regular advertiser called the attention of The Times 
to the advertisement of a competitor which in his 
opinion was so misleading as to be downright fraudu- 
lent. Investigation showed that in this particular 
case he was right, and the objectionable advertise- 
ment was refused thereafter. But the complainant, 
not satisfied with this, began to ask some humiliating 
promises from the management of The Times with 
respect to its policies. The conductors of The Times 
were even more anxious than this overzealous ad- 
vertiser to keep their columns free from undesirable 
matter, but they were unwilling to enter into an 
argument with an advertiser about the policies of 
the paper. The position taken by the management 
of the paper was set forth in the letter given below, 
w^hich closed the incident until years later the gentle- 
man found it desirable, in the interests of his busi- 
ness, to bring his advertising back to The Times 
without asking for anything more than space in the 
paper. 

The publisher of The Times set forth his views in 
this letter as follows: 

The New York Times 

Office of the Publisher 

New York, Nov. 21, 1901. 

******* 

You must excuse me from discussing with 
you the policy of The New York Times. It 
is a subject we do not care to discuss with 
an advertiser. We consider it a privilege to 
any one to be permitted to make an an- 

317 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

nouncement in the columns of The Times 
aside from the fact that our rates for adver- 
tising space are far from commensurate with 
the service rendered. If The New York 
Times as it appears every day is not a suffi- 
cient recommendation for the use of its col- 
umns by advertisers (such as we will accept), 
assurance otherwise would be of little or no 
value. 

We do not want to sail under false colors. 
The New York Times is not published solely 
for the purpose of attracting advertisers. 
We hope, however, to attract by the number 
and the class of our readers. We are seeking 
to secure the good-will and confidence of in- 
telligent, discriminating newspaper readers. 
The advertiser is a secondary consideration. 
We take great pride in the knowledge of the 
fact that we have succeeded in impressing 
the honesty of our efforts upon the largest 
number of the best citizens of this city, rep- 
resenting both readers and advertisers. Of 
course, there are some exceptions. Among 
the latter class a conspicuous example is 
yourself. You seem to wish that The New 
York Times should go about as a mendicant, 
begging for advertising patronage. We will 
never do anything of the kind and are happy 
to say there is no occasion for our doing so. 

This all leads to the statement that if your 
advertisement remains out of The New York 
Times until you have some assurance other 
than the paper as it appears every day, as to 
the policy of the publisher. The Times, as 
long as it is under its present management, 
will endeavor to get along without your 
business. 

******* 

318 



SOME ASPECTS OF BUSINESS POLICY 

Some of the differences of opinion with the book 
publishers have already been told. A later episode, 
however, involved something far more serious than 
a mere disagreement on the advertising value of 
The Times literary supplement; it was, indeed, per- 
haps the most formidable attempt ever made by 
advertisers to coerce The Times. The Book Pub- 
lishers* Association threatened to withdraw, and 
then withdrew, all of its members' advertising from 
The Times because of the insertion of cut-rate 
prices of their books in the advertisement of a 
department store. 

While admitting that the competition of a depart- 
ment store selling certain articles at cut rates offered 
some formidable problems to business men dealing 
only in these articles, the publisher of The Times had 
occasion to ask the publishers how it happened that 
the store could get these books. That was a matter 
between the book publishers and the store; the 
advertising of the dealer's wares was the affair of 
the store and The Times, Indeed, the management 
of the paper observed that if the fact was not 
advertised that books could be purchased at lower 
prices than those charged by the publishers, it 
would deserve to be given to the readers of The Times 
as news. 

This concept of a paper's responsibility as being 
first of all to its readers rather than to any advertiser 
or group of advertisers was somewhat novel to the 
book publishers, but they presently found that The 
Times could not be moved b}^ the loss of their adver- 
tising, and that in fact they were hurting nobody but 
themselves. After a few weeks they came back, con- 

319 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

tent to let the paper run its own business without 
further interference and recognizing the wisdom of 
The Times^s attitude. 

Another heavy advertiser's custom was lost, in 
this case forever, through a difference of opinion on 
the relative value of advertising and news. This 
gentleman had arranged for the publication of what 
he considered an important announcement in a half- 
page advertisement on June i6, 1904, the morning 
after the burning of the excursion steamer General 
Slocum, with the loss of more than a thousand lives. 
At that time the mechanical facilities of The Times 
did not permit the printing of more than sixteen 
pages. The advertisement was omitted on the 
ground that the space was needed for news and that 
the paper's duty to its readers demanded that newr 
be given the right of way. 

Perhaps the most notable difference with adver- 
tisers was a disagreement with one of the largest and 
best advertisers in the country, who withdrew his 
advertising from The Times because of a personal 
grievance, arising out of an incidental publication in 
another paper controlled by the publisher of The 
Times. This item was mistakenly attributed to the 
publisher, and some exacting demands were accord- 
ingly made which could not be complied with. Al- 
though it involved the loss of more than a million 
dollars' worth of the most desirable advertising, the 
management of The Times was adamant in its refusal 
to make the publication requested. After ten years* 
absence the advertiser returned to The Times with- 
out any conditions, and good relations w^ere happily 
restored. 

320 



SOME ASPECTS OF BUSINESS POLICY 

It was in a later period, in 191 5, that an attempt 
was made to control The Times^s dramatic criticism 
by somewhat different methods. A producer con- 
ceived the mistaken impression that the chief dra- 
matic critic of The Times was prejudiced against his 
productions, and in spite of the fact that very few of 
the reviews responsible for this impression had been 
written by the critic in question, the producer sud- 
denly refused to admit him to his theatres. For a 
time the critic managed to review the producer's 
plays under the protection of an injunction, but this 
was presently vacated. While the doors of the 
theatres were closed to The Thnes critic, the advertis- 
ing columns of The Times were closed to the producer, 
and publication of his offered announcements was 
refused. 

In the legal fight the paper was beaten. It was 
developed that while the laws of New York regard 
the theatre as a pubHc institution to the extent that 
its owner cannot exclude classes or racial groups of 
the public, it is sufficiently private to permit him to 
keep a man out if he does not like him. The lessee 
of a theatre cannot refuse to admit a negro, but he 
can refuse to admit a critic, provided the critic is 
white. Having no colored critics on its staff. The 
Times was compelled to continue to ignore the pro- 
ducer as the producer ignored The Times; and after 
the ignoring had gone on for several months the pro- 
ducer discovered that he was cutting off his nose to 
spite his face. Consequently the critic was read- 
mitted to the theatre, and the advertising was read- 
mitted to The Times. It need hardly be said, however, 
that this restoration of peace bv joint resolution did 

321 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

not imply any change in the critic's attitude. He 
continued to judge these productions, as all other 
productions, on their merits as he saw them; and by 
that time the producer had cooled off and recog- 
nized that his notion that the critic was prejudiced 
had no foundation. So that even in this case, when 
beaten in the courts, The Times achieved the sub- 
stance of victory. 

These are old, unhappy far-ofF things. It is now 
established and well known that The Times will not 
accord special favors to advertisers, nor permit them 
improperly to influence its news, editorial or busines 
policies; it is so well known that in recent years no- 
body has tried it. But it was not so well known in 
the past, and the management of the paper sometimes 
paid pretty heavily for the retention of its independ- 
ence. In this matter, too, however, the conductors 
of the paper have always felt that good business and 
good morals were identical. If it is morally dishonest 
to permit advertisers to dictate the policies of the 
paper, it is likewise commercially ruinous in the long 
run — at least for a paper such as The Times, There 
are readers who can be fooled all the time, but The 
Times does not appeal to very many of that class. 

The unexpectedly rapid growth of the paper had 
very early begun to make it uncomfortable in its 
cramped quarters in the old Times Building, and its 
conductors presently began to look around for a new 
building site. While they were looking they had to 
move (in 1904) to temporary new quarters at 41 
Park Row, around the corner from the site which 
The Times had occupied for forty-six years. The old 

322 



SOME ASPECTS OF BUSINESS POLICY 

Times Building was still owned by the estate of 
George Jones. A difference with it about the 
terms of the lease compelled the paper to move, but 
it was known that this change was only for a short 
time until a new and greater Times Building could 
be erected. 

The Times Building is a landmark in the history 
of the paper no less than in the course of Broadway. 
The move uptown was one of Mr. Ochs's intuitions; 
and the building which was erected was a monu- 
mental piece of architecture, and gave invaluable 
publicity to the paper. Its construction involved 
some important and interesting engineering problems, 
and incidentally it put a heavy strain upon the re- 
sources of The Times. But the perilous paths were 
traversed successfully without The Times forming 
any embarrassing associations or commitments; and 
the enterprise required the expenditure of several 
millions in cash. 

In a history of this character, however, the Times 
Building can be given little more than passing men- 
tion. The Herald had set the example in moving up- 
town from Park Row, but the publisher of The Times 
showed an accurate prevision of the direction of 
growth of the city's uptown centre by selecting for 
his new building the triangle between Broadway, 
Seventh Avenue and Forty-second Street. What is 
now the Times Square district was then a region of 
no particular importance or distinction, occupied for 
the most part by lodging houses and flats, with some 
few hotels and restaurants, mostly second or third 
class, scattered among them. Broadway — the 
Broadway of tradition — still had its centre of grav- 

323 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

ity somewhere between the Flatiron Building and 
Herald Square. Yet it was evident that the corner 
where the Interborough subway, then under con- 
struction, met several surface car lines would become 
the pivotal point of transportation distribution when- 
ever the subway was opened. The conductors of The 
Times were right in their judgment of the future of 
the Times Square district, but a very brief experience 
was to show that they had fallen far short of foresee- 
ing the great development that was coming to The 
Times. If they had known in the early years of the 
century how the paper was going to grow they would 
never have put up the new building on that narrow 
plot of ground, which allowed so Httle space on each 
floor that The Times had outgrown the building 
almost before it was settled in it. 

However, the erection of that building offered 
serious problems enough. Part of the land was pur- 
chased in fee simple from the Subway Realty Com- 
pany, part had to be obtained by the purchase of 
a long-term lease from Charles Thorley. But the 
purchase of the land was only a beginning; the build- 
ing had to be erected in a sense straddling the sub- 
way, for some of the pillars supporting it are planted 
right between the old subway tracks. This called 
for a good deal of engineering ability and implied a 
good deal of expense; and the construction involved 
an endless series of annoyances to the owners of The 
Times, 

The building cost several hundred thousand dollars 
more than was anticipated, as buildings have a way 
of doing, and at one time it looked as if, while the 
seventeen stories of the building proper could be 

324 



SOME ASPECTS OF BUSINESS POLICY 

completed, there would be no money left to finish the 
tower which gave to the structure its chief architec- 
tural distinction. It was suggested to the pubhsher 
that he had room enough in the building as it stood, 
and that he could finish the tower later. But he felt 
that to leave the tower unfinished was only a procla- 
mation to the whole town that he had bitten off more 
than he could chew. By desperate effort the money 
was raised; and the building, the cornerstone of which 
had been laid with the collaboration of Bishop Potter 
on January i8, 1904, was occupied by the paper on 
January i, 1905. 

It had cost a great deal of money, and a great deal 
of effort to get the money, but it was worth it. It 
filled one of the most commanding positions in the 
landscape of New York City with a structure ade- 
quate in every way. At the time of its construction 
it was the tallest structure in town, except the Park 
Row Building — and taller than that if extension 
beneath the pavement were included. But it was 
more than a tall building — it was a beautiful tall 
building, and erected in a period when very few archi- 
tects had come to realize that a skyscraper could just 
as easily be beautiful as v/ell as useful. C. L. W. Eid- 
litz and Andrew C. Mackenzie, who designed the 
building, had found their inspiration in Giotto's cam- 
panile at Florence, and their plans provided not only 
for splendid lines but for ornamentation which was 
effective — and expensive. It was hard to build and 
hard to finance, but it was a magnificent signpost 
calHng attention to the paper, at a point which was 
soon to become the centre of midtown business and 
of the night life of the city. Evervbody in New York 

325 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

saw the Times Building when they came into the mid- 
town district; it was a standing reminder that the 
paper was doing great things. 

A still greater advertisement was given to the 
paper when in 1904 the Board of Aldermen gave the 
name of Times Square to the previously nameless 
open space between Forty-third and Forty-seventh 
Streets at the intersection of Seventh Avenue and 
Broadway. Some name was needed, for the subway 
had two stations on Forty-second Street and had to 
differentiate between them somehow; and the pre- 
cedent already set by the naming of Herald Square 
led the city authorities and the owners of the subway 
to agree that this new centre of the city's life deserved 
to be named for the paper which was doing so much 
to develop the neighborhood and contributing an 
architectural monument to the city. Naturally, this 
change passed unnoted by the other morning news- 
papers, most of which to this day ignore the fact in 
the geography of New York City which is obvious 
to anybody who has ever been in the neighborhood 
and prefer the name of Longacre Square, which never 
had any official standing. It was a local designation 
like San Juan Hill, owing its origin to the fact that 
some carriage builders who formerly had shops on the 
square named it after the London Street where 
carriage factories predominate. 

As an advertisement it is believed that the Times 
Building has been worth every cent it cost, and more, 
besides the reward that comes from the conscious- 
ness that Its erection, in that place and at that 
time, was a oublic service. Times Square fulfilled 

326 



SOME ASPECTS OF BUSINESS POLICY 

all the expectations which the management of the 
paper had entertained when selecting it as the location 
of the paper's new home. It became and has remained 
the pivotal centre of the city and is the hub of its 
transportation systems. 

But the conductors of The Times, accurately esti- 
mating the future development of New York, had 
far underestimated their own future. The paper 
grew so fast that the Times Building was soon cramp- 
ing it. The next move was to a site as near as possible 
to Times Square, to the structure known as the Times 
Annex. This building, of 147 feet front, at 217-229 
West Forty-third Street, was designed by Mortimer 
J. Fox, and if not so architecturally ambitious as the 
Times Building, was considerably more extensive. 
When virtually all departments of the paper were 
moved into it, on February 2, 1913, it was the larg- 
est, finest and most completely equipped newspaper 
home in North America. It is probably architectur- 
ally unsurpassed by any newspaper building in the 
world, except the magnificent structure which houses 
La Prensa at Buenos Aires. But, though it was 
planned on such a large scale that when the paper first 
moved in, five of its thirteen floors had been set 
aside as a reserve for growth — though the men who 
had had to move twice in ten years thought that this 
time they would make sure of allowing room for all 
the expansion likely to be needed in many years to 
come — after eight years this building is already far 
too small, and some departments of The Times have 
overflowed into temporary quarters in five recon- 
structed apartment houses next door, which The 
Times has purchased anticipating further growth, 

327 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

while those that remain are beginning to be cramped 
and crowded. 

The years before the war and the early months of 
the war saw the estabhshment of some subsidiary 
publications of The New York Times Company 
which in effect cover more fully certain outlying 
fringes of the newspaper field which had previously 
been handled by the newspaper itself. The weekly 
financial review was in January, 191 3, raised to the 
dignity of an independent magazine, The Annalist, 
appearing every Monday, dealing with commerce, 
economics, and finance. After eight years it has a 
larger circulation than any other magazine in its 
field. 

In April of the same year the paper for the first 
time began the publication of The Nezo York Times 
Index, which from that time on was much more com- 
plete than it had ever been before, and which, pub- 
lished quarterly in convenient form, provided a 
chronological guide to the news which has become 
absolutely indispensable to students of contemporary 
history, and is a useful index, as to dates, for any 
American morning newspaper. 

The war caused the production, in August, 1914, 
of The Current History Magazine, which began as a 
mere repository for long articles on the war, some of 
them reprinted from The Times and others too ex- 
tensive for publication in a newspaper. But as it 
developed it became a sort of reservoir of documen- 
tary exhibits on current history, and in its present 
form it includes a review of the month's news from 
every country in the world, comments descriptive, 

328 



SOME ASPECTS OF BUSINESS POLICY 

explanatory, or apologetic on the news by experts or 
by partisan pleaders (and both kinds have their use), 
and finally a collection of original records and docu- 
ments which make it perhaps the most valuable of 
periodical source books. 

A great development in pictorial illustration was 
made possible by the introduction in April, 1914, of 
the rotogravure presses. A German newspaper con- 
taining pictures printed by this process, then un- 
known in America, came by chance to The Times 
some months before that, and the management was 
at once struck by the fact that this method made 
possible much better reproductions of photographs 
than any then in use. A special trip to Germany re- 
sulted in the purchase of rotogravure presses and 
their installation in The Times office. The superiority 
of the pictorial supplement printed by this process 
was so apparent that other papers soon followed 
The Times^s example. The Times, however, which 
was the first in the field, developed a greater interest 
in pictorial illustrations than it had had before that 
time. The paper has never done much in the way 
of printing photographs in its news section on ordi- 
nary newsprint paper, and consequently had never 
needed the staff photographers who were so im- 
portant a part of other newspaper organizations. 
But the rotogravure presses not only gave the con- 
ductors of The Times a greater interest in the Sunday 
pictorial supplement; they made possible the estab- 
lishment of a new and independent publication of 
The New York Times Company, The Mid-week 
Pictorial, first issued in September, 1914. This, like 
The Current History Magazine, began as a war publi- 

329 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

cation and has survived the war as a pictorial weekly 
newspaper. To serve the increasing needs of the 
Sunday and mid-week pictorials The Times Wide- 
world Photo Service was organized in 191 9, under 
the direction of Charles M. Graves, and already has 
some notable feats to its credit. 

In at least one use of the rotogravure presses The 
Times is still without competition. The Annalist and 
The Times Sunday Book Review and Magazine are 
now printed by this process, which makes possible an 
excellence of typography otherwise unattainable in 
such publications, and a fineness and fidehty in the 
reproduction of photographs which had never pre- 
viously been achieved in any newspaper supplement. 



330 




THE TIMES BUILDING, 
ILLUMINATED FOR VICTORY 

@ Brown Bios. 



CHAPTER V 

The Times in the War, 1914-1918 

^ I ^0 the biggest news story of modern times the 
■*■ American press as a whole reacted in a manner 
highly creditable. It would almost be safe to say 
that there was not a single newspaper in the country 
which was not a better paper, from the technical 
point of view, at the end of the war than at its begin- 
ning. That is to say, its editors knew more about 
what news was, how to get it, and how to present it 
to their readers. Also, the great majority responded 
honorably to the secondary but sometimes highly 
important duty of interpreting and clarifying the 
news by editorial comment. Most of the influential 
papers of the country understood at the outset at 
least the general causes of the war, and were able to 
assess rightly the responsibility for its outbreak. 

In general, the service of The Times during the 
war consisted in its doing what the other papers, or 
most of the other respectable papers, did, but doing 
it better. The merit of its war news is sufl[iciently 
well known. It was thanks chiefly to the excellence 
and the universal scope of its news service that the 
circulation of the paper, which was about 250,000 
at the beginning of the war, had risen to some 390,000 
at its close. But it should not be forgotten that 
The Times in editorial analysis of the causes of the 
war was amazingly accurate from the very outset, 

331 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

so accurate that it brought down on itself almost 
at once the wrath of the Germans and their sym- 
pathizers, and within a few months had earned the 
honorable distinction of being the principal focus of 
the vituperation which the Germans and pro-Ger- 
mans fired at an unsympathetic American press. 

The news department of a paper should not be, 
and that of The Times is not, influenced by editorial 
policies. But it is sometimes forgotten by amateur 
critics of journalism that the editorial page has a 
function going somewhat beyond the mere assertion 
of opinion. It is often the duty of the editorial 
writers to interpret the news, to discriminate be- 
tween the probable and the improbable, the ten- 
dentious and the more or less impartial, in the great 
volume of news reports which come to the office. 
Since human nature is fallible, it has been found 
advisable to print all the news and leave to the 
editorial page the assessment of its relative worth, 
rather than exercise discrimination at the news desk 
and suppress everything that fails to ' accord with 
the news editor's judgment of the probabilities. 

The general reader may disagree with the 
editorial interpretation. That is his privilege, for 
it is presented only as an interpretation. But 
editorial writers are somewhat better informed than 
the average reader. They probably know more of 
the news than he does, for they read half a dozen 
papers a day where he reads one or two; a newspaper 
prints all the news it gets, so long as that news is not 
libelous, but a single paper does not always get it 
all. But the editorial writers have read much out- 
side of the daily papers; they have a background 

332 



THE TIMES IN THE WAR, 1914-1918 

of solid information which enables them to under- 
stand a good deal that is dark to the man in the 
street. Elucidation based on wider and more thorough 
knowledge is probably the most important function 
of the editorial page today. 

There has rarely been a better example of the 
performance of this function than The Times's edi- 
torials on the outbreak of the war. Information 
available then was far from complete; it consisted 
only of vague and scanty official statements on the 
diplomatic exchanges. The accounts of the secret 
conferences in which every Government of Europe 
was going over the situation in the last week of 
July, 1914, as well as the story of much of the actual 
diplomatic negotiation, did not come to public 
knowledge till much later. But after the lapse of 
seven years, despite all the voluminous publication 
of secret archives which since the armistice has in- 
formed the world of what went on behind the scenes 
in those days, there is not one line of The Times 
editorial analysis of the responsibility for the war, 
written in the days when the war was being made, 
which would have to be retracted today. 

The Times, to be sure, like all the world, was slow 
to believe that the conflict that had been so long 
expected that it had come to seem impossible was at 
last at hand. It held the same hope that everybody 
held in the summer of 1914 in the moderating influ- 
ence of financiers and business men, and above all it 
believed, until belief was no longer possible, that the 
German Emperor had the will to avert the war as 
he undoubtedly had the power. But the events 
of the week leading up to the declaration of war 

333 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

convinced The Times that Austria was responsible 
for the war in the sense that the criminal recklessness 
of Austrian statesmen had deliberately provoked 
it, and that Germany was responsible in that if the 
Kaiser had forbidden it there would have been no 
war. 

On July 27, 1914, when Austria had refused to 
accept the Serbian reply to the ultimatum and had 
stood out before the world as plainly determined to 
fight, The Times said in an editorial article: 

It will be freely said that Count Berchtold 
has seized what seemed to him a most 
propitious moment for dealing a blow at 
Pan-Slavism and strengthening Pan-Ger- 
manism, and incidentally reviving the Ger- 
man party in Austria. . . . The only 
hope of peace seems to be in the awakening 
of the German conscience. 

Four days later, when it was evident that the 
German conscience either had not awakened or was 
unable to affect the consciences of the rulers of 
Germany, The Times observed : 

Now is the very best of all times for tak- 
mg account of the frightful wrong involved in 
governmental systems which permit great 
and prosperous peoples to be dragged into 
the war without consulting their will and 
their welfare. 

On August 2 The Times pronounced the famous 
speech of the German Emperor about the sword 
which had been forced into his hand **a piece of 
pompous humbug," and after deploring the fact 
that evidently some European peoples, even those 

334 



THE TIMES IN THE WAR, 1914-1918 

which had been regarded as highly cultured, were 
no more than a dumb herd which could be driven, 
physically and psychologically, where the leaders 
willed, went on to say that 

there is a possibility, historically justified, 
that a general European war would be fol- 
lowed by changes which would make the 
herd vocal. 

Four days later it resumed this same argument, go- 
ing so far as to make the prediction, later sustained 
in every particular, that the war was very Hkely to 
result in revolution in Russia, revolution in Germany 
and the break-up of Austria-Hungary. 

Again, on August 6 The Times observed that while 
every nation going into the war found plenty of 
excuse for justifying its course of action, 

the historian will have no trouble in plac- 
ing his finger on the cause of the war, and 
there are men in Vienna today whose de- 
scendants for many generations will redden 
at the verdict. 

The peculiar German mind was of course not so 
well understood in those days. It takes a good deal 
to make the average German redden, even today, as 
the trials of war offenders at Leipzig showed. Never- 
theless, even the Germans are Hkely to accept the 
truth of this judgment in time; the rest of the world 
has already ratified it. But in the summer of 1914 
it did not command universal acceptance, even 
though the majority of Americans thought Germany 
in the wrong. The chief public service of The Times 
in the war was that from the very beginning it 

335 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

understood where the rights and wrongs of the 
conflict lay, it was able to justify its position by 
sound argument, and it never ceased to maintain 
that position with all the vigor which its editors 
were able to command. The furious hostility 
toward the paper which the Germans and their 
sympathizers soon displayed is the best measure 
of its success in performing this duty. 

However, there was an equally important duty 
to be performed in giving to the public every bit of 
information as to the underlying causes, as well as 
the immediate occasion, of this vast and multiplex 
conflict. It is not too much to say that before the 
war had been going on three months The Times had 
become the principal forum for debate on the issues 
of the war. Despite the fact that its editors were 
firmly convinced that Germany was in the wrong, 
The Times realized the necessity of hearing every- 
thing that could be said on both sides. As was said 
on the editorial page a few months after the war 
began, "access to its columns has been denied to no 
German sympathizer, if reputable, responsible and 
literate." Some of them, indeed, were neither repu- 
table nor responsible, but if they seemed to have 
anything of value to contribute to the discussion 
The Times heard them. 

The principal item in this discussion was unques- 
tionably the publication in full of the arguments of 
the various European Governments — the White 
Papers, Yellow Books, Orange Papers and so on, con- 
sisting of the diplomatic correspondence leading up 
to the outbreak of the war, or as much of it as the 
several governments were inclined to give out to the 

33^ 



THE TIMES IN THE WAR, 1914-1918 

public. Long extracts from these were, of course, 
sent to The Times by cable as soon as they were 
issued, but it seemed to The Times that the im- 
portance of the issue made it imperative to present 
the whole case, or as much of it as the governments 
themselves had given out. 

The first copy of the British White Paper was 
brought to this country at the end of August, 1914, 
by the Rev. Dr. Frederick Lynch, who had received 
it in advance of publication from an official friend 
just as he was boarding his steamer at Liverpool. 
He gave it to a Times reporter, and it was published 
in full on the following Sunday. The presses were 
still printing it when, in the small hours of Sunday 
morning, Frederic William Wile, Berlin correspondent 
of The Times, arrived with a copy of the German 
White Paper. A corps of translators was set to 
work at 2 a.m.; by 10 o'clock Sunday evening they 
had finished their task, and the document was 
printed in full in Monday morning's Times, Thus 
early in the war The Times presented to its readers 
on two successive days all that was obtainable from 
official sources on both sides of the case. The two 
documents were reprinted in pamphlet form and 
distributed at cost to some hundreds of thousands 
of eager readers throughout the United States and 
Canada. 

After the British and German statements came 
the official documents of the French, Russian, 
Austrian and Belgian governments, giving to the 
world what each saw fit to publish of its diplomatic 
records, and having set the precedent The Times 
pubHshed them all, in full. Again they were repub- 

337 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

lished in tabloid form, and before the end of 1914 
The Times was in effect running an extension uni- 
versity on the issues of the war. At that time its war 
news was on the whole about the same as the war 
news of other papers, so far as related to the actual 
fighting; but from the very start it surpassed all 
its competitors in giving the news about the reasons 
for the war. 

Here was the official brief of each government; 
it seemed to the management of The Times that the 
next thing was argument from the briefs. An at- 
tempt was made to have eminent American lawyers 
discuss the White Papers as attorneys for the two 
governments, but this proved to be impossible for 
the somewhat significant reason that the three or 
four American lawyers known to be sympathetic 
with Germany, or inclined to entire neutrality, who 
were asked to present the German side of the argu- 
ment refused to argue the German case if they were 
restricted to the evidence put forward in these 
official documents. Clearly they were able to 
realize that the German White Paper presented a 
pretty poor case. When it proved impossible to 
present this debate, the publisher of The Times 
finally persuaded James M. Beck to analyze alone all 
the arguments, not as a representative of either side, 
but as an impartial reviewer. 

Mr. Beck was a former Assistant Attorney General 
of the United States and was one of the leaders of 
the New York bar, but his discussion of the case pre- 
sented by the White Papers before *'the supreme 
court of civilization'* made him internationally 
famous. Arguing from the briefs presented by the 

338 



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THE TIMES IN THE WAR, 1914-1918 

several governments, he reached the conclusion that 
Germany was in the wrong, and supported his opin- 
ion by an able and searching analysis. First pre- 
sented in The Times of Sunday, October 25, 1914, 
his articles were reprinted in pamphlet form under 
the title of *'The Evidence in the Case/' by several 
governments, notably the English, and millions of 
copies distributed over the world in many languages. 
Extracts and summaries of his argument were 
published the w^orld over, and gave to millions of 
readers the foundation for opinions which had been 
somewhat confused by the volume and the obscurity 
of the official documents. 

Second only in importance to the White Papers 
and their like were the innumerable arguments con- 
ducted in the columns of The Times by sympathizers 
of the two sides. All papers had their share of such 
discussions, of course, but The Times had more of 
them, and of more distinguished authorship. Nota- 
ble among these were the letters exchanged between 
Charles W. Eliot and Jacob H. SchifF, published in 
The Times in December, 191 4; the arguments pre- 
sented by G. K. Chesterton and various other 
British authors on the side of the Allies, and those of 
Dr. Bernhard Dernburg, Arthur von Briesen, Pro- 
fessor William Milligan Sloane and Professor John 
W. Burgess on the German side. Throughout most 
of the war military experts, usually officers either 
active or retired of the United States Army, analyzed 
each day the military operations from the technical 
standpoint. German sympathizers in the fall of 
1914 complained that the military critic showed too 
much partisanship for the Allies, so for some months 

339 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

The Times published frequent comments on the 
military situation by a former officer of the German 
Army. 

All these discussions, of course, took place either 
on the editorial page or in the Sunday magazine, 
and were supplementary to the voluminous argu- 
ments which were part of the news of the day. There 
were in addition a number of important contributions 
on the war as affecting purely American interests, of 
which the most notable were a series by Theodore 
Roosevelt in the fall of 1914 on "What America 
Should Learn From the War, " the articles contrib- 
uted toward the end of 191 6 by a publicist who 
concealed his identity under the signature of "Cos- 
mos, " and the later series signed by "An American 
Jurist," who, as has since been announced, was 
Robert Ludlow Fowler, Surrogate of New York 
County and one of the most accomplished scholars 
on the bench. In quieter times Judge Fowler's series 
of brilliantly written articles would have been 
generally accepted as something of a classic. 

Of course, partisans of each side were often indig- 
nant that any space should be given to the other 
side; and because the Germans were Germans their 
indignation was most violent, and most inclined to 
the imputation of base motives. Before the war 
was two months old a group of more or less authentic 
Americans in Munich saw fit to send to the German 
press a protest against the '* prejudiced and unfair'' 
attitude of The Times, which was duly sent abroad 
by the industrious German wireless. Before long 
the most notorious German propagandists in America 
were accusing The Times of suppression of news, and 

340 



THE TIMES IN THE WAR, 1914-1918 

beginning that vast campaign of calumny which 
was taken up by the SociaHsts and Sinn Feiners 
when prudential motives imposed silence on the 
Germans, later in the war, and joyfully resumed 
by the whole crew when they came out of their holes 
after the armistice. Every honest and patriotic 
American newspaper was the target of these attacks; 
the assertion that the whole American press had 
been bought by British gold seemed reasonable 
enough to persons who were unfamiliar with the 
idea of any but a purchased press; and these accusa- 
tions against any paper were only proof that that 
paper was honestly and fearlessly doing its duty. 
But The Times was probably honored by more 
denunciation than any other paper in the country, 
though The World and The Tribune were close 
behind it in this honorable competition. Fortu- 
nately, the American people were making up their 
minds, and most of them knew exactly what all this 
Teutonic clamor was worth. 

However, not all the criticism came from one 
side. Just as half a century before some superheated 
northern patriots had accused The Times of sym- 
pathy with secession because it had a correspondent 
who sent the news from Charleston, so in the World 
War some sympathizers with the Allies could see 
nothing but sympathy with Germany in any in- 
cHnation to give the Germans a hearing. In Novem- 
ber, 1 91 4, for instance, a reverend clergyman wrote to 
The Times that he couldn't stand ''such dishes of 
German arrogance and insolence as you are serving 
daily to your readers." His emotional reaction was 
wholly creditable, but he and some others Hke him 

341 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

forgot that it was highly important that the Ameri- 
can people should learn what the Germans really 
were and learn it by the most convincing and con- 
victing evidence, that which proceeded out of their 
own mouths. 

It is possible that in the early months of the war 
The Times gave up nearly as much space to German 
arguments as to those of the opposition, for the 
Germans saw from the first that the balance of 
opinion was against them, and they made desperate 
efforts in their tactful way to turn the scales. These 
arguments were apt to be convincing, but in the 
opposite direction; and, anyway, the actions of the 
Germans always spoke louder than their words. 
Even before the Lusitania^ the Germans had realized 
that their cause before American public opinion was 
lost, and had already begun to supplement their 
arguments and persuasions with sabotage and vio- 
lence. What part the editorial columns of The Times 
may have had in the formation of American pubHc 
opinion can best be determined by those outside the 
office, but attention may be called to one editorial, 
one of the most forceful and important which has 
ever appeared in The Times, which deserves special 
mention as an example of historical and political 
insight. This article, two columns in length, was 
written by Charles R. Miller, the editor in chief, and 
appeared on December 15, 1914. It was headed 
'*For the German People, Peace with Freedom." 

That editorial began with the flat statement, 
'* Germany is doomed to sure defeat." It analyzed 
the military situation, the probabilities of the future; 

342 



THE TIMES IN THE WAR, 1914-1918 

but its argument was founded chiefly on moral 
considerations, on the beHef that the world would 
not let Germany win; that a German victory meant 
the negation of all human progress, and that every 
free people, if forced to the issue, would find itself 
compelled to resist the German attack on civiliza- 
tion. "Yet," the article continued, '*the downfall 
of the German Empire may become the deliverance 
of the German people, if they will betimes but seize 
and hold their own." And then it analyzed the 
situation of the German people, paying all the 
cost of the war, sure to endure the consequence of 
defeat, yet unable to win anything from victory in 
a conflict which they had undertaken at the com- 
mand of their rulers and whose issues, even if success- 
ful, would profit those rulers alone. 

''If," the article continued, ''Germany chooses to 
fight to the bitter end, her ultimate and sure over- 
throw will leave her bled to exhaustion, drained of 
her resources, and under sentence to penalties of 
which the stubbornness of her futile resistance will 
measure the severity. We could wish that the Ger- 
man people, seeing the light, might take timely 
measure to avert the calamities that await them." 

The article created a sensation. It was repub- 
lished and commented on throughout the world, 
and is generally regarded as one of the greatest 
editorials ever appearing in an American newspaper. 
It is reproduced in full in an appendix to this volume. 

This analysis of the issue raised by German 
aggression, of the relations between the German 
masses and the oligarchy that ruled them, of the 
only possible escape for the Germans and the 

343 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

inevitable consequences of refusal to take that way 
of escape, was justified in every detail by the 
history of the next four years. Some two years 
and four months later the President of the United 
States came around to these opinions, which he 
expressed in his speech of April 2, 1917; and a year 
and seven months after that the German people were 
at last convinced of the soundness of this reasoning, 
by the only argument they were able to understand 
— and, unfortunately, too late to be able to escape 
the penalties of delay. 

This editorial may stand as a summary of The 
Times^s position on the war, so far as it was purely a 
European war. New issues were raised in the spring 
of 191 5, both by the sinking of the Lusitania and by 
Germany's transference of the war, so far as possible, 
to American soil; but before that had happened The 
Times had recognized German aggression as a 
menace to the whole world, and though continuing 
to publish all the arguments on the German side, was 
using all its influence to convince the American 
people that the world could not let Germany win 
the war. As has been said, the German propagan- 
dists and their American sympathizers already looked 
on The Times as their chief antagonist, and were 
flinging at it every accusation, old and new, which 
their active imaginations could devise. To most of 
the readers of the paper these charges were evidently 
only a satisfying proof that the Germans felt that 
The Times was dangerous. But a good deal can be 
forgotten in three or four years, and already memory 
of the ways of German propagandists before 191 7 is 

344 



THE TIMES IN THE WAR, 1914-1918 

fading, as well as the recollection of the influence 
which they had, for a considerable time, in circles 
where they should have been better understood. 

The culmination of these attacks upon The Times 
came in March, 191 5 — not in a meeting of German 
singing societies or the Clan-na-Gael, but in a hearing 
before a committee of the United States Senate, 
where all the enmity that had been aroused by 
The Times^s criticisms of impromptu statesmanship 
flared into open view, and all the calumnious whispers 
that had been spread abroad by persons unable to 
imagine that any man or any newspaper could 
advocate any opinions except for a cash considera- 
tion were dignified by the attention of eminent 
Senators. 

This episode deserves extended notice, for it is 
important not only in the history of The Times but 
in the history of modern journalism; perhaps, even, 
it has some interest as an illustration of recent 
tendencies in the United States Senate. Because 
the editors of The Times had expressed their opinions 
on some questions of pubHc policy, opinions not 
altogether in agreement with those of the Senators 
on the committee, they were summoned to Wash- 
ington and asked if anybody was paying them for 
those opinions, and if so, who. The pretext for 
this inquisition — in view of the course taken by 
the committee, it can hardly be called anything else 
— was The Times^s 'opposition to the administration 
bill for the purchase of foreign ships interned in 
American harbors. The paper opposed this because 
it opposed the intrusion of the government into 
business, and because it had its doubts whether the 

345 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

purchase in time of war of ships interned to escape 
capture by the enemy was vaHd in international 
law. There was much, and reasonable, opposition 
to this measure; The Times had no monopoly of its 
opinion. But the Senate appointed a committee to 
inquire 'Sf influence had been exerted" against the 
bill. The possibility that there might be room for 
two honest opinions on the subject did not seem to 
occur to the Senators. 

However, this suspicion, if not very creditable to 
the collective intelligence of the Senate, was at least 
more legitimate than some of the innuendoes with 
which the members of the committee decorated the 
sessions devoted to questioning editors of The Times. 
For the information of the Senators, who displayed 
a great deal of curiosity about the ownership of The 
Times, the managing editor furnished not only the 
list of all persons owning more than one per cent of 
the capital stock, which was published anyway twice 
a year, but a table showing how much each one of 
them owmed. The discovery that the publisher of 
The Times owned 62 per cent of the stock, that its 
editor owned something more than 14 per cent, and 
that nearly half the residue was owned by other per- 
sons who had no occupation excepting contributing 
their bit toward getting out The Times, was ap- 
parently something of a disappointment to the 
committee; but the Senators still had a good many 
questions to ask. 

The next session of the committee, in which the 
editor-in-chief was examined, began very much in 
the form of a class in elementary journalism. The 
Ship Purchase bill was forgotten; Senators asked 

346 




THETSyES 




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lilHMMMliMiiMKaeiM 




MAIN ENTRANCE TIMES BUILDING. 



THE TIMES IN THE WAR, 1914-1918 

Mr. Miller why The Times opposed parcel posts; wh}^ 
it thought this and that about the railroads and 
about the trust prosecutions; why certain stories 
were not put on the front page. The Times by that 
time was virtually on trial for all its opinions, and 
its editor no doubt experienced some weariness as he 
laboriously explained that the editors of a news- 
paper advocate certain policies because they believe 
them best for the public interest, that not all the 
news can be put on the front page, that the relative 
value of different news stories is a matter of judg- 
ment and that the judgment of all newspapers is not 
always identical. 

Having got through this, however, the committee 
took up another line of argument. Senator T. J. 
Walsh of Montana, its Chairman, asked if The Times 
had **^any business connections of any character in 
England.** Mr. Miller said that it had none aside 
from maintaining its own correspondents there. 
Then Senator Walsh wanted to know if Mr. Ochs 
had "any financial support of any kind in England." 
Mr. Miller said that he had none whatever, where- 
upon Senator Walsh explained, rather apologetically, 
"I asked because I was informed that that was the 
case. 

Mr. Miller's denial was made still more emphatic 
by an editorial next day, on March 17, which con- 
tained this statement: 

That there may be no cause to believe 
that Mr. Miller's answer to the impertinent 
inquiry about Mr. Ochs's private affairs 
does not fully and satisfactorily end the in- 
quiry, Mr. Ochs wishes to make the asser- 

347 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

tion as broad and sweeping as language will 
permit that he is in possession, free and un- 
incumbered, of the controlling and major- 
ity interest of the stock of The New York 
Times Company, and has no associate in 
that possession, and is not beholden or ac- 
countable to any person or interest in Eng- 
land or anywhere else in the world, nor has 
he ever been beholden or accountable in 
any form, shape or fashion, financial or 
otherwise, for the conduct of The New York 
Times, except to his own conscience and to 
the respect and confidence of the news- 
paper-reading public, and particularly the 
readers of The New York Times — and 
more particularly to the respect and confi- 
dence of those who are associated with him 
in producing The New York Times and ex- 
pressing its opinions. 

The conductors of The Times could say no more 
on the question of English ownership, but they still 
had something to say about Senator ThdJitats^J. 
Walsh, who "had been informed that that was the 
case." Who had informed him? The Times asked 
this question, rather insistently, and bit by bit the 
truth came out. Just before that session of the 
committee opened there had come a letter, addressed 
to "The Hon. Chairman," signed by a name which 
Senator Walsh read as "Arthur M. Abbey." The 
writer said that he had just come back from Eng- 
land, where he had heard at the Junior Constitu- 
tional Club in London that "a well-known EngHsh- 
man has been backing Mr. Ochs with money to get 
control of The New York Times,''' and that "I un- 
derstand that Mr. Miller is also mixed up in some 

348 



THE TIMES IN THE WAR, 1914-1918 

way with this Englishman." So that nobody would 
go astray, the writer added, **the name of Lord 
NorthcHffe was mentioned," and he threw in for 
good measure that **Mr. Ochs has also been mixed 
up in the EngHsh Marconi scandal." 

The Times again denied each and every one of 
these charges and asked for more information about 
'* Arthur M. Abbey." Who was he.? What did Sen- 
ator Walsh know about him, that he regarded his 
communication as sufficiently important to spread 
on the record of a Senate committee the suggestion 
that The Times was controlled by foreigners? At 
the Junior Constitutional Club in London he was 
unknown; and it presently appeared that he was 
equally unknown to Senator Walsh. The Senator 
finally sent The Times the original letter, and in 
the office the handwriting and style were soon rec- 
ognized as identical with those of a whole series of 
scurrilous letters which had been coming regularly 
to The Times office from New York — and not from 
London. Of the hardly legible signatures to these 
letters some seemed to resemble '*G. M. Hubbell" 
and others ''A. M. Abbey"; some of the letters were 
not signed at all. But they were all abusive, all 
plainly the w^ork of one writer, and all the work of 
the same man who had informed Senator Walsh 
that ''such was the case." 

No doubt this spreading of the facts upon the rec- 
ord did something to weaken the legend of British 
ownership of The Times. This fiction continued to 
be one of the staples of German, Irish and SociaHst 
argument; but it is significant that the next attack 
made on The Times from a source pretending to 

349 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

reputability, more than five years later, began with 
the rejection of all suspicion of outside influence and 
developed the entertaining theory that the editors 
of The Times were simply constitutionally incapable 
of understanding the truth. It was admitted that 
they, like all men, needs must love the highest when 
they see it, but it was argued that they were pretty 
poor judges of altitude. Perhaps not all enemies of 
the paper are so generous, but belief in the North- 
clifFe ownership has in general been confined, in recent 
years, to circles where it is still asserted that Presi- 
dent Wilson was owned by Wall Street and that 
Germany fought a defensive war. 

However, the chief importance of this incident 
does not lie in its bearing on the reputation of The 
Times, As was said in the paper's editorial columns 
at the time: 

This is not a personal issue. It is a ques- 
tion of the extent to which a government's 
machinery may be privately misused to an- 
noy and attempt to discredit a newspaper 
whose editorial attitude has become dis- 
tasteful and embarrassing. 

And it was in the name, not of The Times, but of 
the whole American press — a press which for nearly 
two centuries had been free from governmental con- 
trol — that Mr. Miller, at the close of his interro- 
gation by the committee on The Times^s editorial 
attitude toward every subject of public interest, ad- 
dressed some remarks to the committee: 

I can see no ethical, moral or legal right 
[he said] that you have to put many of the 
questions you put to me today. Inquisi- 

350 



THE TIMES IN THE WAR, 1914-1918 

torial proceedings of this kind v/ould have 
a very marked tendency, if continued and 
adopted as a poHcy, to reduce the press of 
the United States to the level of the press 
in some of the Central European empires, 
the press that has been known as the rep- 
tile press, that crawls on its belly every day 
to the Foreign Office or to the Government 
officials and Ministers to know what it may 
say or shall say — to receive its orders. 

Questions of that kind, he said, **tend to repress 
freedom of utterance and to put newspapers under 
a sort of duress." Nor was it to be supposed that 
newspapers would be free from all restraint if a 
Senatorial committee did not now and then turn 
aside to give publicity to the commonplaces of Ger- 
man propaganda. '*We appear before the jury 
every day," said Mr. Miller. 

We appear before the grand inquisition, 
one of the largest courts in history; we are 
judged at the breakfast table. We feel that, 
if we were improperly influenced by anybody 
outside of the office, there is none so quick 
to discover that as the reader of the paper. 

That The Times, in this case, was fighting for the 
freedom of the entire American press was pretty 
generally recognized. There was much editorial 
comment on Mr. Miller's statement and on the 
committee's procedure. The World called the ques- 
tions **a pubhc inquisition without an open arraign- 
ment"; The Baltimore American said that the hear- 
ing was ''the most extraordinary exhibition of bad 
judgment, peevishness or evil motives the country 
has had from a Senate committee for years." 

351 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

Bad judgment and peevishness, no doubt, had 
more to do with it than evil motives. For more than 
a year thereafter Congress, a timorous body at best, 
was extraordinarily sensitive to the compulsions of 
bough t-and-paid-for German propaganda, as witness 
the Gore and McLemore resolutions. Only very 
slowly, in response to the obvious feeling of the 
country, and under the leadership of a few men of 
patriotism and courage, did Congress gradually re- 
cover the hardihood to call its soul its own. The 
chief criticism against this particular committee is 
that it was willing to believe, and to give currency 
to, anything it heard from anybody, anonymous or 
otherwise. 

No doubt the Senators took a certain very human 
joy in getting newspaper editors up before them and 
putting them through a third degree; no doubt they 
felt entirely justified by the argument that news- 
paper editors often criticise Senators. But no news- 
paper ever accused a Senator of selling his soul to 
foreigners, on no better evidence than an anony- 
mous letter. 

From the sinking of the Lusitania the war became 
a domestic issue. On that issue The Times consist- 
ently supported President Wilson. The election of 
1916 proved that the President had judged public 
sentiment pretty well. There will always be room 
for argument as to how the country would have re- 
sponded if the Lusitania issue had led to war in the 
spring of 191 5. But it should be remembered that 
the President's middle-of-the-road policy was being 
assailed from two sides, as too pusillanimous and as 

352 



THE TIMES IN THE WAR, 1914-1918 

too aggressive. The Times stood with the President 
against those who for one reason or another thought 
that the Lusitania incident ought to be passed over 
in silence, in the full confidence that he would not 
be unduly precipitate, but would not yield on essen- 
tial issues of American rights. 

It was theopinion of The Times that in the spring 
of 191 5 the American public, as a whole, was not 
ready to fight over the Lusitania, Whatever may 
have been the effect of the German arguments based 
on the fact that the ship carried some ammunition 
in her cargo, and that the passengers had been 
warned, it was not believed by the conductors of 
The Times that the mass of the people, particularly 
in the West and in the rural districts, had as yet 
sufficiently appreciated the fundamental issues of 
the w^ar to make them willing to fight Germany. It 
was doubted if Congress could be persuaded to de- 
clare war, and, even if it could have been, the con- 
ductors of The Times felt that the division of pub- 
lic sentiment, and the evidently lukewarm feeling 
of a good part of the public, would have given much 
aid and comfort to the enemy. Besides, America 
was notably unprepared for war in the spring of 
191 5. By 1917 great war industries had been built 
up, and two years of prosperity had given the na- 
tion financial and industrial strength which made 
its intervention decisive. These conditions were not 
present when the Lusitania was sunk, and The Times 
felt that the President should be supported in his 
efforts to preserve peace, so long as that was honor- 
ably possible. 

It took nearly two years more of the demonstra- 
353 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

tion of German methods to convince the majority 
that America could not honorably and safely keep 
out of the war. Through those years The Times 
supported the President, holding, as he did, that 
there must be, after the war, some sort of world or- 
ganization which should, in so far as possible, pre- 
vent this thing from happening again. The Times 
had opinions far more decided than the President's 
on the need for a righteous settlement of this war as 
a foundation for any durable peace, and by 191 7 the 
President had got around to this view. The little 
evidence available suggests that the editors of The 
Times had perhaps a more logical interpretation of 
the President's position in 191 5 and 1916 than he 
had himself; but from 1917 on, at any rate, there 
was rarely occasion for disagreement. Perhaps one 
exception should be made to this. In the winter of 
1917-18 The Tm^fj-, though it did not exactly support 
Senator Chamberlain against the President, sup- 
ported the substance of Chamberlain's views that 
more energy was needed in the executive depart- 
ments if the war was to be won. 

The Times realized, however, what a good many 
even of the friendly critics of the Wilson adminis- 
tration forgot in those days, that public officials are 
human beings and have to be accepted more or less 
as they are, failings and all. Its editors believed 
not only that President Wilson was a trustworthy 
and able leader, but that he was on the whole more 
trustworthy and more able than any other man in 
sight. Above all, he was President, he was the head 
of the State, the nation's leader; and in war times 
it is the duty of every citizen to support the leader. 

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THE TIMES IN THE WAR, 1914-1918 

Mr. Wilson had a way of doing more seasonably, 
better and more efficiently than they ever dreamed 
of, the things his critics blamed him savagely for not 
doing. His injustice to Chamberlain in the begin- 
ning of 1 91 8, like his desertion of Garrison in the 
beginning of 191 6, might create a very bad impres- 
sion; but it did not prove that in the long run either 
Chamberlain or Garrison could have done better 
than Wilson, even had they been in a position to try. 
During 191 8 The Times editorial page, continuing 
its general policies on the war and support of the 
administration, opened up one or two special lines 
of discussion. It gave rather more room than other 
papers to consideration of the political readjust- 
ments in Europe that might be expected to follow 
the end of the war, and to presentation of the claims 
and possibilities of the various nationalistic revolu- 
tionary movements. It took, too, the most promi- 
nent place in denunciation of the behavior of the 
Russian Bolsheviki. It is sometimes forgotten that 
the Bolshevist revolution in Russia first affected the 
world as a phase of the war. Western Europe and 
America might have afforded to stand off and watch 
the Bolsheviki reconstruct society, if they had not 
begun by destroying the eastern front and releasing 
hundreds of thousands of German troops for service 
in France, and if they had not at once begun to talk 
of promoting revolutions in the countries fighting 
Germany. To be sure, they were going to start a 
revolution in Germany as well, but Brest-Litovsk 
showed how little they could or would accomplish 
against the German military group. In Germany, 
as in Russia, they began their revolution only after 

355 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

the imperial power had been broken by a less rad- 
ical revolution; and in Germany only after the way 
had been prepared by Foch's armies. 

So when The Times argued, as it did with vigor 
and persistence in 191 8, for the sending of alHed 
troops to Siberia, it was chiefly in the hope that 
they might get through to reestablish an eastern 
front. For Bolshevism as a political and economic 
gospel The Times had no use, but it regarded this 
aspect of the movement as less important than Bol- 
shevism as a practical factor in a war whose decision 
was still in doubt. 

Toward the end of the war occurred an incident 
which brought The Times more criticism, probably 
than anything else in its history — the publication 
on September 16, 191 8, of an editorial favoring the 
consideration of the Austrian proposal for a "pre- 
liminary and non-binding" discussion of peace terms. 
The opinion which found expression in this article 
was first, that the Austrian proposal meant the be- 
ginning of the end — which was true; and second, 
that it was worth considering, on the theory that 
when conferences had begun the enemy would rap- 
idly give way to complete surrender. Whether that 
would or would not have happened is, of course, a 
question to which there can be no answer. If the 
shiftiness of the Germans in their subsequent nego- 
tiations with Mr. Wilson suggests that this prelimi- 
nary conference might have given opportunity for 
a good deal of intrigue, it is true on the other hand 
that the rapid caving in of the German morale in 
the fall of 191 8 might have led to exactly the same 

356 



THE TIMES IN THE WAR, 1914-1918 

result as did occur. It was not generally foreseen in 
the middle of September that the war would be 
over in less than two months; but the editor of The 
Times had become convinced from his study of the 
German press, and the other sources of information 
available, that Germany was on the verge of col- 
lapse, and was confident that if peace delegates once 
met, the people of the Central Powers would insist 
on peace at any price. In the Austrian proposal 
he recognized evidence that Austria and Germany 
were exhausted and would soon be ready to surren- 
der on any terms at all. And The Times declared 
that the Allies must insist on such peace terms as 
were finally imposed on Germany at Versailles. It 
was convinced that if negotiations began Germany 
would soon be forced to accept whatever terms the 
Allies might lay down. 

That may have been a mistake, but it was at 
least a tenable view. It was, unfortunately, a some- 
what too long-sighted view for the popular mind in 
the tenseness of the time, when everybody's blood 
was at fever heat and there was general apprehen- 
sion that peace negotiation might lose the fruit of 
victory. The deviousness of German diplomacy was 
well known, and the exhaustion of German endur- 
ance was not generally understood. Perhaps some 
of the phrases in the editorial were chiefly responsi- 
ble for the unfavorable criticism, phrases expressing 
a feeling such as everybody exhibited a few weeks 
later on armistice day. If the editor of The Times 
gave premature expression to that feeling, it was 
because he saw further ahead than most people and 
knew that this appeal meant that peace was near. 

357 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

It must be added that the wide discussion of this 
editorial, and the unfavorable reaction to it, was in 
considerable part the work of other New York news- 
papers, who talked of ^* The Times'' s white flag" and 
even ventured on some insinuations about *' Aus- 
trian gold," against the paper which every German 
propagandist for four years past had been accusing 
of subserviency to British gold. 

No doubt these competitors of The Times were 
inspired in part by vigilant patriotism, but other 
motives may have had something to do with their 
agitation. The Times had been making enormous 
gains in circulation. It was within a very few thou- 
sands of the largest circulation in New York, and it 
had already distanced all the other morning papers. 
The Herald — then, of course, a different paper and 
under different ownership than at present — under- 
took a great circulation campaign to win over Times 
readers under such slogans as **Read an American 
Paper." As had happened fifty-two years before, when 
Raymond took the unpopular step of advocating 
conciliation of the beaten South, The Times^s spotless 
record for loyalty during the war was ignored by 
journals which had found it a dangerously success- 
ful business rival. But this loyalt}^ and the leader- 
ship in news and opinion which The Times had won, 
was not forgotten by the public. The circulation of 
the paper was not affected, the clamor soon died 
away, and the assaults of jealous and failing com- 
petitors were as futile as they were groundless. 

At the outbreak of the war the military authori- 
ties of all the nations engaged had the idea, correct 

358 



THE TIMES IN THE WAR, 1914-1918 

enough from a purely military viewpoint, that the 
newspapers and the public need know nothing about 
what was going on until it was all over. The suc- 
cess of the Japanese in keeping war correspondents 
out of the way in Manchuria had shown other army 
officers what could be done, and the strategic ad- 
vantage that was to be derived from doing it. Some 
months passed before it began to be apparent to 
the various governments, and in time even to the 
mihtary commanders, that every nation wanted to 
know what was going on, and would fight better if 
it knew. In the early months the task of news get- 
ting was hard enough, and the news that was ob- 
tained was mostly official and open to considerable 
suspicion. 

Eventually, of course, all this was changed. Be- 
fore the end of the war the correspondent had be- 
come a personage universally respected — if not, like 
MacGahan and Forbes and Russell and the men of 
their day, respected because he was more important 
than the war he was covering, at any rate respected 
and treated with some deference because Ministers 
and Generals knew that the public wanted to know 
what was happening and that this man was going 
to tell it. 

The New York Times at the outbreak of the war 
was getting its war news from The London Daily 
Chronicle, and from its own correspondents in Lon- 
don and Paris. It was unable to get the other side 
of the case from its own correspondent in Berlin, for 
the German Government had locked up and then 
expelled this gentleman on the ground that, though 
an American citizen, he was correspondent not only 

359 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

for The Times but for The London Daily Mail, and 
consequently might be engaged in espionage. But 
the war was only a few weeks old when The Times 
got another correspondent into Germany, a corre- 
spondent who through school and family acquaint- 
ances had unusual facility of access to German mili- 
tary circles, and who, during 1914, 191 5 and 1916, 
succeeded in presenting probably the best picture 
given in the American press of the operations of the 
German Army on all fronts. This correspondent 
was Cyril Brown, at present The Times correspon- 
dent in Berlin, who almost at the beginning of 
his career in Germany managed, partly by his own 
ingenuity and partly by the assistance of a train- 
man whom he had met while covering a strike m 
Jersey City some years before, to get to German 
Great Headquarters at Mezieres-Charleville and send 
to The Times the first account anywhere published 
of the scenes there. Brown's subsequent operations 
took him to every German battle front, and in addi- 
tion, with the assistance of Joseph Herrings, he cov- 
ered the political news from Berlin. 

Other American correspondents in Germany per- 
formed a brilliant and useful work in interviewing 
the leaders of the German Government and sending 
out to the world their opinions on the progress of 
the war, though it is to be regretted that some of 
them eventually came to believe a good deal of 
what was said to them; but Brown, while doing com- 
paratively little of this sort of thing, outdistanced all 
other American writers in his reporting of the Ger- 
man Army in action. 

Now and then he had assistance, as for example 
360 



THE TIMES IN THE WAR, 1914-1918 

during Mackensen's Serbian campaign in the fall of 
191 5, and in the early days of the Verdun offensive, 
when The Times obtained by special arrangement 
the reports of the staff correspondents of several 
BerHn daihes in addition to the nev/s gathered by 
its own men. To make sure that nothing going on 
in Germany was overlooked, The Times sent Garet 
Garrett in 191 5 and Oscar King Davis at the end of 
1916 to write special articles on the economic situa- 
tion and the wearing quahties of German morale. 

Besides getting the news out of Germany, The 
Times now and then got some news into Germany 
— notably in February, 1917, when the German 
Government had been aroused by rumors that Am- 
bassador Bernstorff was being detained in America 
after the rupture of diplomatic relations and that 
all German ships in American ports, and their crews, 
had been seized. These false reports had inspired the 
German Government with the idea that Ambassa- 
dor Gerard and all Americans in Berlin might be de- 
tained by way of retaliation. A private message 
from the managing editor of The Times to O. K. 
Davis, correcting these false impressions, was shown 
by the correspondent to the German Foreign Office 
and was chiefly responsible for the release of the 
Americans in Berlin. 

On other fronts, as the war went on. The Times 
was better and better served. Of the numerous and 
usually able correspondents of The London Chron- 
icle the most distinguished was Philip Gibbs, whose 
dispatches from the British front in the later years 
of the war were perhaps the most generally popular 
war correspondence of the period. Gibbs's peculiar 

361 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

talent happened to meet a very general psycholog- 
ical need of the public in 1917 and 1918; and he was 
more widely read, and probably on the whole more 
generally admired, in America than even in England. 

Of The Times^s own correspondents with the allied 
armies Wythe WiUiams, head of the Paris office in 
the early days of the war, wrote a number of excel- 
lent stories from the battle-fronts in France and 
Italy. Edwin L. James, at present Paris correspond- 
ent of The Times, was the principal correspondent 
with the American armies in 191 8, and supplied 
thrilling accounts of their achievements. Walter 
Duranty brilliantly described the successful resist- 
ance of the French armies to the German onslaught 
of 191 8. Charles A. Selden sent the poHtical news 
from Paris in the same year. Charles H. Grasty of 
the executive staff of the paper, possessing a wide 
acquaintance among both soldiers and statesmen, 
wrote a great deal from the British, French and 
American battle-fronts, though the greater part of his 
correspondence was political. Of the many others 
who at various times and from various fronts sent 
dispatches to The Times, perhaps special mention 
should be given to Georges Le Hir, who wrote from 
Verdun in the spring of 191 6 some of the best battle 
pictures of the war. 

The news from the battle-fronts was constantly 
supplemented by all kinds of news about the war 
from the writers, newspapers, and press agencies of 
every country in Europe presented each morning 
for what it was worth to the readers of The Times. 
The most important contribution to the assembling 
of this news was that of the London office, headed 

362 




VIEWS OF THE COMPOSING ROOM. 



THE TIMES IN THE WAR, 1914-1918 

by Ernest Marshall, which without making much 
parade of its merits acquired an extraordinarily high 
standard of all-round efficiency. Mention should 
be made also of Enid Wilkie, correspondent at The 
Hague, who was responsible for most of the news 
about what was going on in Germany after America 
declared war. 

The amount of news received by The Times, by 
cable and wireless, from its own correspondents, on 
a number of days in the latter part of the war sur- 
passed in the total number of words the dispatches 
of the largest news associations, and often exceeded 
all the special dispatches to all other American news- 
papers combined. The handhng of this mass of 
news in the office naturally involved problems unex- 
ampled in magnitude if not new in kind, and in the 
delicate technical question of make-up, the arrange- 
ment of news with due consideration of its relative 
importance, as well as of the appearance of the page 
on which it is printed. The Times in the course of the 
war developed a general style to which many of its 
competitors paid the compliment of imitation. It 
was impossible, in the war period, to get all the big 
news on the front page, but The Times usually got 
more of it there than other papers, and in an ar- 
rangement which was at once pleasing to the eye 
and calculated to make it easy for the reader to see 
at once what had happened, as well as to give him 
some idea of the importance of the various dis- 
patches. 

The war make-up involved a considerable devel- 
opment in the art of headline composition. The 
limitation of the width of the column is one of the 

363 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

chief technical difficulties in the presentation of news 
to a pubhc which has learned to look for headlines 
that tell the story. And even when the head is ex- 
tended to two or three columns, or seven or eight, 
the wider room for display does not remove all the 
difficulties. The Times in its headlines tries, and 
its conductors hope with a fair degree of success, to 
be fair and accurate; to pack the substance of the 
story, without prejudice, into the four or five words 
which may be all of the story that some readers W\\\ 
ever read. 

Carr V. Van Anda, the managing editor, was in 
charge not only of the great organization which was 
collecting the news all over the world, but of the 
no less intricate and efficient organization within the 
office which had the work of arranging and present- 
ing the news. In this latter field he was ably as- 
sisted by F. T. Birchall, assistant managing editor. 
The mechanical department under the very com- 
petent supervision of Charles F. Hart successfully 
responded in those days to a heavy strain and made 
an important contribution to the success of the 
paper. 

From the day the Lusitania was sunk the war 
was no longer a European question, and thereafter, 
week in and week out, it pretty steadily dominated 
the news in every New York paper. Even then, of 
course, most papers of the interior found it less im- 
portant than events closer home, and continued to 
give it rather limited space until America came in. 
As the war went on more and more of the most in- 
telligent class of readers all over the country found 
that if they really wanted news about the war they 

364 



THE TIMES IN THE WAR, 1914-1918 

could find it in greatest volume and most satisfac- 
torily presented in The Times, 

The first award of the Pulitzer gold medal for 
** disinterested and meritorious service" by a news- 
paper was made by the School of Journalism of 
Columbia University to The New York Times in 
June, 191 8, **for publishing in full so many official 
reports, documents, and speeches by European states- 
men relating to the progress and conduct of the war." 
The editors of The Times believed that their circula- 
tion contained an unusually high proportion of 
readers who were willing to give the time to reading 
long speeches and long documents, not necessarily 
because they had superfluous time on their hands, 
but because they realized that in a war of this kind 
full understanding required careful study, and that 
study of the evidence was the most important busi- 
ness of any intelligent man. The editors thought, 
too, that The Times more than any other paper was 
read by people who were capable of forming their 
own opinions from study of the original evidence 
in full, and who would rather have every word avail- 
able for their own study than accept a summary 
made by somebody else. 

An illustration of the methods of The Times in 
getting together these documents from the most 
widely scattered sources may be found in the his- 
tory of the pubhcation of Prince Lichnowsky's fa- 
mous memorandum on German diplomatic methods 
and the outbreak of the war. Parts of this had 
been published in various German and Swedish 
papers, and in The New Europe of London, and 

365 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

many extracts from these publications had been 
cabled to the American press. But the document 
was for the first time printed in full in The New 
York Times, the text having been laboriously assem- 
bled from the five or six partial pubHcations in Ger- 
many, Sweden and England. Something like this 
The Times was doing constantly during 191 8, and 
by industry and vigilance succeeded in piecing to- 
gether a good deal of evidence which other publica- 
tions, both in America and abroad, had been con- 
tent to accept in fragmentary form. 

Every one was calling on his reserves in 191 8, 
from Foch and LudendorfF down to the humblest 
citizen on the internal front who was setting his 
teeth and accustoming himself to new privations, 
and the human race as a whole was probably liv- 
ing more intensely and putting more of its poten- 
tial abilities into action than ever before. It is per- 
haps natural, then, that The Times was at its best 
in this last year of the war. Its conductors are not 
conscious of any particular deterioration since that 
time, but there was more opportunity for excellence 
to display itself in the conditions of this last war year. 

In the interchange of speeches that made up the 
most visible though by no means the only phase of 
the ** peace offensives" of the winter of 191 7-1 8 
The Times had scored again and again by printing the 
addresses in full, by a make-up and typography which 
put the news out where the reader could see it and 
gave him some hints about its relative importance, 
and in the case of speeches delivered by German or 
Austrian statesmen very often by getting the news 
a day earlier than the other papers. The peace of- 

366 



THE TIMES IN THE WAR, 1914-1918 

fensive broke down and LudendorfF began a new 
offensive of a different kind on March 21, 1918. In 
The Times office it was recognized on the evening 
of that day that this was the great and decisive con- 
flict of the war, although elsewhere, and even in 
London, it was some days before the magnitude and 
importance of Ludendorff's operations was per- 
ceived. From that time on The Times was gener- 
ally a day ahead of the crowd. Every correspondent 
had been instructed on the evening of March 21 
thenceforward to spare no expense or effort to get 
his news into the office promptly. The result was 
that day after day The Times was the only Ameri- 
can paper which had its own dispatches describing 
the fighting of the day before. The Associated 
Press news arrived on time, for the Associated 
Press had, properly enough, received special facili- 
ties for getting its news through. Other American 
papers had special dispatches from their own cor- 
respondents, but for two or three months they gen- 
erally got them and published them a day late. 
Within a few weeks after March 21 The Times was 
able to announce that since that date it had scored 
more than one hundred beats, including such items 
of news as Foch's appointment as generalissimo, the 
removal of General Gough after the defeat of the 
British Fifth Army, and Count Czernin's speech 
against Clemenceau, which had the result of bring- 
ing to the Ught the Austro-French peace negotiations 
of the previous year. 

The official censorships of the various European 
governments interfered considerably, of course, with 

367 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

the news dispatches of The Times, as they did with 
those of all other papers. No effort was made to 
circumvent these censorships, but in one instance the 
censorship was evaded by a sort of impromptu code, 
with the result that The Times beat all other papers, 
in America and elsewhere, on two highly important 
news stories. Under cover of the ostensible discus- 
sion by cable of some changes in The Times^s Euro- 
pean staff information was obtained of the decision 
to supplant Joffre as generalissimo of the French 
armies, of the consideration of various men for his 
position and finally of the appointment of Nivelle. 
A few months later the same formula brought to 
The Times office, again in advance of the official an- 
nouncement, the news that Nivelle was to be re- 
placed by Petain. 

Like all other newspapers, however. The Times 
tolerated foreign censorships because it had no choice, 
and not because it liked their methods or admired 
their results. When America came into the war and 
the first draft of the Espionage Act contained a pro- 
vision for an American censorship. The Times was 
one of the most vigorous opponents of any such 
measure. The experience of European governments 
had shown that, while censors may occasionally be 
necessary, they are always stupid, and the likeli- 
hood that personal or political considerations would 
influence a censor in Washington was quite as 
strong as the certainty that such considerations had 
already played their part in Europe. 

Eventually the clause was deleted from the Es- 
pionage Act, and in place of Government regulation 
came the "voluntary censorship," by which Ameri- 

368 



THE TIMES IN THE WAR, 1914-1918 

can newspapers refrained from printing news that 
might be of mihtary advantage to the enemy. 

One hundred and eighty-nine members of The 
Times staff, including two women, served in the 
armed forces of the United States during the war. 
Of these the following five were killed or died in 
service: 

Major William Sinkler Manning, 
of the Washington Bureau; 

Lieutenant William Bradley, 
of the business office; 

Sergeant Joyce Kilmer, 

of the Sunday magazine staff; 

Private Harold J. Behl, 
proofreader; 

Private Edward B. Pierce, 
of the composing room. 



369 



CHAPTER VI 
The Times Today 

^T^HE end of the war found The Times at the height 
-*■ of its influence and power, but the peak of its 
business prosperity was still to come. In the boom 
of 1 91 9 and the early months of 1920 The Times 
at last expanded in size from the 24-page issue which 
had been the limit for the week-day paper up to the 
end of the war, and often since then has printed 
32, 36 or even 40 pages a day. Even so, the volume 
of advertising offered was so great that day after 
day much of it had to be refused on account of lack 
of space. Yet the total printed in 1920 was more 
than 23,000,000 agate lines — nearly 80,000 columns, 
and almost ten times the amount printed in the first 
year of the new management. The greatest volume 
of advertising ever carried in the paper was on 
Sunday, May 23, 1920, when The Times printed in 
all j6y columns of advertisements. The paper on 
that day contained altogether 136 pages, including 
24 pages of rotogravure pictorial supplement and 
16 pages of tabloid book review. It weighed two 
pounds and ten ounces, and no doubt it felt like 
ten pounds and two ounces to the wxary house- 
holder who picked it off the doorstep; but experi- 
ence has shown that even in a paper of that size 
there is nothing that a good many readers do not 
want. 

370 



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THE TIMES TODAY 

The impression is widely prevalent that as the 
paper increases in size the publisher loses money on 
account of the high price of newsprint. This, how- 
ever, is a mistake. The advertising rates include 
the cost of the paper on which advertisements are 
printed, so that the increased cost involves only 
pages devoted to news. The only danger in in- 
creasing the size of the paper is that it may pos- 
sibly become so bulky as to dissatisfy the reader, 
and The Times has not yet felt that handicap. 
Some of its readers complain that it is too large, 
but nobody complains that it prints too much news 
about the things in which he is interested. The 
man whose chief interest is in the stock market may 
think there is too much news about sports, and vice 
versa; but there is not too much financial news for 
the investor, nor too much sporting news for the 
follower of sports. From the four-page paper of six 
short columns which Raymond got out in 1851 to 
The Times of forty eight-column pages which has oc- 
casionally appeared in recent years is a long jump; 
but no greater than the increase in the extent of the 
intelligent reading pubHc, nor in the variety of that 
public's interests. 

The most important feature of The Times^s edi- 
torial policy since the war has been its championship 
of the League of Nations, a cause in which its edi- 
tors were interested long before the armistice, and 
which they regard as destined to ultimate triumph 
in some form — most probably in a form very much 
Hke that which was adopted by the Paris peace con- 
ference. Throughout that conference The Times 

371 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

steadily supported the general policies of President 
Wilson, though it could not agree with him on some 
details. Its editors felt that it was a mistake for 
him to go to Paris in person, but later they came to 
the conclusion that the President had been right, 
and that by his presence at the conference he had 
obtained some results which would have been im- 
possible for any negotiator of less eminence. They 
thought, and still think, that he made a mistake in 
not taking with him representative leaders of the 
Republican party, as well as in showing too plainly 
an opinion reasonable enough in itself of the endow- 
ments and the character of some eminent Senators. 
On some of the territorial, political or economic 
items of the peace settlements, too. The Times could 
not accept the President's views. 

But its conductors thought that these objections 
were all of minor importance and irrelevant to the 
principal issues. With the President's opinion that 
the League was all-important they were in entire 
accord, as well as with his position on most of the 
territorial and economic questions in dispute. They 
thought the Treaty of Versailles was not ideally per- 
fect, but about the best treaty that could have been 
obtained. And they held the opinion, none too com- 
mon in the United States in 1919, that after all the 
President was the representative of the entire Ameri- 
can people at the peace conference, that it was im- 
possible for him to get his way on every point of 
diflFerence with the other delegates, and that an en- 
lightened view of national interest, to say nothing 
of those more general considerations of universal 
welfare which his opponents so vehemently dis- 

372 



THE TIMES TODAY 

claimed, made it advisable for the American people 
to forget trivial objections and give their consider- 
ation rather to the things the President had done. 
He had, after all, won the chief points for which he 
was contending as the constitutionally designated 
negotiator for the American people, and won them, 
if at the price of some concessions, over strenuous 
opposition. It was unlikely that any other American 
official would ever be able to impose American views 
so extensively on the other great powers of the world. 

There can be no doubt that much of the antago- 
nism which finally wrecked Mr. Wilson's peace plans 
was due to his personality rather than his accompHsh- 
ments, to his methods rather than his results. It 
seemed to The Times that ordinary common sense 
might suggest that the people whom he represented 
should give first consideration to the work which he 
had done, and to the effect of that work upon their 
own interests, rather than to their opinions of Mr. 
Wilson as an individual. No doubt, some consci- 
entious opponents of the League took this point of 
view, and based their opposition to the Treaty on 
an honest conviction that it was harmful to Ameri- 
can interests. But there is evidence everywhere in 
plain sight that a good many people opposed the 
Treaty merely because they disliked the President. 

Throughout the fight in the Senate and through 
the campaign of 1920 The Times gave its utmost 
support to the cause of the League and to those 
public men who promised to support that cause. 
The violent debate within the Republican Party as 
to whether the election of Mr. Harding meant a 
victory for the League or the utter rejection of the 

373 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

League it viewed with sympathetic but detached In- 
terest, convinced that the logic of facts would pres- 
ently bring to reason those RepubHcan leaders who 
are capable of reason. Until that time shall come 
The Times^s view of the particular accomplishments 
of the Republican Administration is determined by 
its judgment of their specific merits and not by gen- 
eral or doctrinal considerations. 

Yet, in spite of its conviction that the League is 
necessary and indeed inevitable, in spite of its sup- 
port of the Democratic ticket in the 1920 campaign, 
The Times has given its support to many of the 
policies of President Harding. This does not mean 
that The Times is always an administration paper. 
It does mean, however, that the conductors of The 
Times realize that the President of the United States 
is the President of the whole people and not of a 
single party, that his public acts affect the whole 
people and that it is to the interest of every citizen 
to get as effective and competent an administration 
as possible. With the type of partisanship which 
sees the entrance of the opposition into power as 
meaning nothing but opportunity for criticism The 
Times has little sympathy. It preferred Mr. Cox to 
Mr. Harding; but Mr. Harding having been elected 
it realized that he was going to be the Chief Magis- 
trate of the United States for the next four years, 
and that sensible citizens would do well to encour- 
age all the praiseworthy policies which his adminis- 
tration might pursue without stopping to fear that 
they might bring prestige to the Republican Party. 

Whether Republican, Independent or Democratic, 
The Times has never been able to convince itself that 

374 



THE TIMES TODAY 

opposition must mean consistent hostility to every- 
thing done by the party in power. Its conductors 
regard the intei ests of the nation as somewhat more 
important than the record of any party, and they 
have been genuinely glad to be able to commend many 
of the works accomplished or attempted by President 
Harding and the leading members of his Cabinet. 
With some of the elements in the Republican Party 
The Times is entirely out of sympathy, and had repre- 
sentatives of those factions been chosen to direct the 
executive functions of the government, the paper 
would no doubt have had occasion to criticize their 
conduct rather severely; but, considering the record of 
the administration purely on its merits, the editors of 
The Times have been pleased to be able to recog- 
nize the fact that its performance, in the early 
months at least, has been meritorious in a rather 
high degree. 

Several changes in the personnel of the paper in 
recent years may call for special mention. Mr. 
George McAneny resigned as President of the Board 
of Aldermen on February I, 1916, to become execu- 
tive manager of The Times. His duties were chiefly 
confined to the study of the newsprint paper situation 
which gave so much concern to all American papers 
during the war period and which is The Times^s 
chief item of expenditure. In 1920 The Times spent 
for print paper ^5,963,839.42. In 1897, the first full 
year under the present management, that item cost 
only $45,955.63. On January i, 1918, the Tidewater 
Paper Company, of Bush Terminal, Brooklyn, with 
a capacity of 30,000 tons of newsprint per year, was 

375 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

acquired by the New York Times Company in order 
to insure a supply of paper in New York free from 
outside interruptions by strikes, weather, etc. 

With The Times* s paper supply contracted for and 
assured for the next five years, Mr. McAneny with- 
drew from the Times organization in March, 1921, and 
soon afterward was appointed chairman of the 
Transit Commission. 

Mr. Samuel Strauss, well known as one of the live- 
liest of magazine critics of current affairs, was with 
The Times as treasurer of the company from 191 2 
to the end of 191 5. Mr. Rollo Ogden, editor-in-chief 
of The New York Evening Post for many years, came 
to The Times on May 15, 1920, as associate editor; 
and Dr. John H. Finley, Commissioner of Education 
of the State of New York, resigned that office and 
joined The Times staff, also as an associate editor, 
on January 17, 1921. 

Note may be made here of the following members 
of The Times' s staff who died either in its service or 
after long years with the paper: 

Edward Cary, for forty-six years an editorial 
writer and for much of that period associate editor; 
died May 23, 1917. 

Theodore Lawrence Peverelly, for forty-three 
years a member of the business staff; died February 
4, 1904. 

Arthur Greaves, city editor from 1900 and a 
reporter for many years before; died October 19, 191 5. 

Charles Welborne Knapp, treasurer of The New 
York Times Company and formerly publisher of 
The St. Louis Republic; died January 6, 191 6. 

Edward Augustus Dithmar, whose forty years 
376 



THE TIMES TODAY 

of service as dramatic critic, London correspondent, 
literary editor and editorial writer, ended with his 
death on October i6, 1917. 

Montgomery Schuyler, for twenty-four years an 
editorial writer; died July 16, 1914. 

Jacob H. Thompson, for thirty-seven years with 
the paper, much of the time as exchange editor; died 
September 8, 1905. 

John Hebard Paine, for fourteen years with The 
Times, the last four years as night city editor; died 
October 2, 1920. 

John Norris, for many years business manager, 
died March 21, 1914. 

Barnet Phillips, whose thirty-three years of 
service Included editorial work on the Sunday edition 
and book reviewing; died April 8, 1905. 

Leopold Wallach, general counsel of The Times 
from August 18, 1896, to his death on January 25, 
1908. 

Elbridge G. Dunnell, Washington correspond- 
ent of The Times from 1879 to 1902; died February 

3. 1905- 
Leonard B. Treharne, on The Times staff for 

twelve years, most of that time as night city editor; 

died October 17, 1904. 

Major John M. Carson, In The Times Washing- 
ton office from 1874 to 1882 and 1902 to 1905, and 
for several years chief Washington correspondent; 
died September 29, 1912. 

George Butler Taylor, for twenty-six years a 
reporter, died November 2, 1905. 

Field Lynn Hosmer, forty years In service as 
reporter and editorial auditor; died January 8, 1914. 

?»77 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

George B. Mover, for twelve years superintend- 
ent of The Times buildings, died December 9, 191 5. 

As to the news service of The Times there is little 
to add to what has been written in the last two 
chapters. It has continued as it was during the 
war, though perhaps with a somewhat higher degree 
of efficiency, due to experience. The Peace Confer- 
ence was covered for The Times by members of the 
paper's own staff — Richard V. Oulahan, head of 
the Washington Bureau; Ernest Marshall, head of 
the London office; Charles A. Selden and Edwin L. 
James, of the Paris office, and Charles H. Grasty of 
the executive department — and by Gertrude Ather- 
ton, until she fell ill and had to return to America. 
They scored a number of *' beats," notably on the 
occasion of President Wilson's threat to abandon 
the Peace Conference, but most of the leading 
American papers scored '* beats'' during the nego- 
tiations. As before, the excellence of The Times 
was rather in a higher average than in out- 
standing single achievements. Indeed, it could be 
said that the war and the Peace Conference both 
proved the value of the American system of news- 
paper training. Generally speaking, the best war 
correspondents and the best political correspondents 
at the Peace Conference were men who had gone 
through the ordinary routine of the American re- 
porter, rather than experts who had specialized in 
war correspondence or international politics all their 
lives. Most American reporters found that they 
could learn what they needed about war and inter- 
national politics; while the sense of news values, 

578 




K 
H 

O 

H 
w 



THE TIMES TODAY 

and the diligence in getting news, which is devel- 
oped by the ordinary reportorial training in America, 
and which, of course, had been very highly devel- 
oped in the men who were selected for the important 
assignments of the war and the peace negotiations, 
cannot be improvised by specialists when they are 
suddenly faced by extraordinarily keen competition. 

Perhaps there should be special mention of the 
Washington correspondence of The Times, which is 
probably not only more voluminous, but more im- 
partial, than that of any other paper. The practice of 
coloring the news to suit editorial policy, which 
was once too common in the American press, has 
pretty generally disappeared in recent years except 
in a minority of papers. But it has tended to sur- 
vive longest in the Washington correspondence, 
where there is still, in the case of most newspapers, 
a tendency to hunt out first of all such news as agrees 
with the paper's prejudices. 

This does not involve suppression of news, nor 
even distortion. The relativity of truth is a com- 
monplace to any newspaper man, even to one 
who has never studied epistemology; and, if the 
phrase is permissible, truth is rather more relative in 
Washington than anywhere else. Now and then it 
is possible to make a downright statement; such and 
such a bill has passed in one of the houses of Congress, 
or failed to pass; the administration has issued this 
or that statement; the President has approved, or 
vetoed, a certain bill. But most of the news that 
comes out of Washington is necessarily rather 
vague, for it depends on the assertions of statesmen 
who are reluctant to be quoted by name, or even by 

379 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

description. This more than anything else is respon- 
sible for the sort of fog, the haze of miasmatic exha- 
lations, which hangs over news with a Washington 
date line. News coming out of Washington is apt 
to represent not what is so but what might be so 
under certain contingencies, what may turn out to be 
so, what some eminent personage says is so, or even 
what he wants the public to believe is so when it is 
not. 

For an illustration one need go no further back 
than the various semi-official assertions on high 
authority of the intentions of the Harding adminis- 
tration about cooperation with Europe, which turned 
out to be pretty nearly loo per cent untrue. The 
explanation is that most of these assertions came 
from irreconcilable Senators who honestly thought 
they could speak for the administration and who 
were accepted by correspondents as speaking for 
the administration; but who, as a matter of fact, 
knew less about the real intentions of the adminis- 
tration than the White House doorkeeper. 

Obviously, then, the Washington correspondent 
has a pretty wide field of choice. On almost any 
question he can get directly opposite opinions — 
and most "news" from Washington is a matter of 
opinion — from equally high authority, and from 
authority which he is not permitted to identify. It 
is not strange that between two stories of appar- 
ently equal merit he is inclined to prefer the one 
which will be most welcome in the office. Generally 
speaking. The Times Washington correspondence 
has been very little open to criticism on this point. 
No paper supported the League of Nations more 

380 



THE TIMES TODAY 

vigorously than The Times; its editorials consist- 
ently favored the League, and its columns once 
more, as during the war, became the principal 
forum for the debates of publicists. Yet it was evi- 
dent through the entire discussion, to those who read 
The Times Washington correspondence, that there 
was little chance of the League finding favor in the 
Senate. The Times supported Cox in the 1920 
Presidential campaign, but its political correspond- 
ence made it fairly plain long before the election that 
Harding was certain to win. 

It should be added that The Times, alone of promi- 
nent Democratic papers, denounced as false, slander- 
ous and contemptible the "campaign of whispers" 
against Mr. Harding during the last weeks of the 
campaign. 

The year 1919 gave The Times, always so keenly 
interested in aviation, a chance to cover very fully 
the news of the first flights across the Atlantic. Its 
interest in wireless telegraphy had already been vin- 
dicated, and at present all newspapers are enjoying 
wireless service which might have been somewhat 
longer delayed if The Times had not been so fully 
convinced of the possibilities of this art a decade ago. 
The end of the war brought, of course, an increase 
in the amount of space devoted to local news, which 
had been somewhat reduced in the days when the 
dispatches from the battle-fronts were of supreme 
importance; as well as a great expansion in The 
Times sporting department, responding to the great 
increase of interest in sports which followed the com- 
ing of peace. 

381 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

The Times was the only paper in the United States, 
or in the world, which printed the full text of the 
draft of the peace treaty. As will be remembered, 
the document was given to Senator Borah on June 9, 
191 9, by a correspondent of The Chicago Tribune, and 
by vote of the Senate was spread upon the Congres- 
sional Record. That night the Washington corre- 
spondents of The Times got proof sheets from the 
government printers as fast as the copy was set up, 
and dispatched the text to New York on twenty-four 
telegraph and telephone wires obtained for the occa- 
sion. On the morning of June 10 The Times had all 
of it — sixty-two columns, occupying most of the 
first eight pages of the second section of a forty-page 
paper. 

The news service of The Times today is pretty well 
known to several hundred thousand readers who pre- 
fer The Times to any other paper. If anything 
further is to be said about its quality it may best be 
said by the mention of one or two instances of The 
Times' s methods and their results. During the politi- 
cal conventions of 1920 The Times pretty regularly 
had more news and more reliable news than the other 
papers, and had it first. These conventions were 
covered by a staff of nine men, all regular employes 
of the paper. The Times saw no need for hiring re- 
nowned experts, humorists, or fiction writers to 
supplement the work of its own men; and if any 
of its readers missed these features they did not 
say so. 

The Democratic National Convention at San 
Francisco offered some technical problems of excep- 
tional difficulty. Because San Francisco is 3000 

382 



THE TIMES TODAY 

miles west of New York, and because New York 
saves daylight while San Francisco does not, San 
Francisco time is four hours earlier than that of New 
York. That meant that the first edition of most 
New York morning papers was going to press at a 
little past midnight, only a few minutes after the 
night sessions of the Democratic Convention were 
beginning in San Francisco. Despite this fact. The 
Times had some news from the beginning of the night 
sessions in its first edition on every night of the con- 
vention, and its second edition, coming off the presses 
shortly before 2 o'clock, had about as much news as 
other papers were able to get on the streets at day- 
light. 

Another difficult}^ in getting the news out of San 
Francisco was due, or rather seemed likely to be due, 
to the limited telegraphic facilities. Even the highest 
officials of the Western Union and the Postal did not 
realize, in advance, just how much their local organ- 
izations were going to be able to accomplish. As it 
turned out, the Western Union wire arrangements 
were more than sufficient to handle all the news of 
the convention; but this was not knov/n beforehand. 
As a matter of precaution The TimeSy which was un- 
able to obtain the lease of direct wires into its office 
from the telegraph companies, finally made a round- 
about connection through Canada. A telephone 
v/ire was leased for night service from San Francisco 
to Vancouver and another from New York to Mon- 
treal. Between these two cities connection was 
established by a lease of a Canadian Pacific railroad 
telegraph wire, and the whole circuit was operated 
by telegraph with a ** relay " at Vancouver — operated 

383 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

so well that news dictated to a telegraph operator in 
the convention hall at San Francisco was in The 
Times office in New York within two minutes. 

The long-distance telephone was used every night 
during the convention, and was responsible for the 
pubUcation in the first edition, on the final night, of 
news which foreshadowed Palmer's withdrawal a 
little later in the evening. 

All these are things such as all papers do, now and 
then, and the only distinction of The Times is that it 
does them more regularly, more smoothly and, on the 
whole, with more success. As a final instance of the 
operation of The Times news service today may be 
mentioned the handling of the news of the German 
reparations proposals of April 26 last — proposals 
which, it will be remembered, were sent to the 
United States Government in the vain hope of ob- 
taining American mediation in some form, and which 
embodied the last German effort at compromise be- 
fore the surrender to the aUied demands, which took 
place a few days later. 

The American declaration that all previous Ger- 
man offers were unsatisfactory reached the German 
Cabinet at 11 a.m. on April 26 — that is, 5 a.m. 
New York time. It was known that the answer 
would be prompt; that, as a matter of form, it 
would be sent to the American government; but 
that, since Mr. Harding and Mr. Hughes would not 
even transmit to the allied governments any pro- 
posal which those governm.ents were likely to re- 
ceive with disfavor, there would be informal inquiries, 
as soon as it was received, to find out if it were ac- 
ceptable. If not, it would wither and die in a Wash- 

384 



THE TIMES TODAY 

ington pigeonhole, so far as official transmission was 
concerned. 

The German note came to Washington on the 
evening of Wednesday, April 26, and a vague and 
general intimation as to its contents was given out to 
all the correspondents there. A summary of the note 
was also given to The Associated Press in BerHn, 
and on the morning of Thursday, April 27, that was 
all that the other New York Papers had about the 
German offer. 

But The Times realized that the text of the note 
might be available not only in Berlin, where it was 
written, and in Washington, where it was received, 
but also in London and Paris, where the governments 
would be informally acquainted with its text before the 
note was officially transmitted. Consequently The 
Times correspondents in Washington, London, Paris 
and Berlin were all instructed to try to get the note 
verbatim. In Washington and Berlin only in- 
adequate summaries were obtainable; the summary 
given out by the German government was in one or 
two points seriously misrepresentative and tended 
to represent the offer as larger than it actually 
was. 

But The Times correspondents both in London and 
in Paris obtained and cabled the full text of the note 
on Wednesday night, the Paris copy arriving first, 
but only ten minutes ahead of that from London. 
The Times alone of New York papers published it in 
full on Thursday morning. The Times alone of New 
York papers published the fact that the French gov- 
ernment had officially refused to consider the offer 
and had notified Secretary Hughes of its decision to 

38s 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

this effect. Two other papers in New York had Paris 
dispatches predicting, on the basis of Premier 
Briand's speech in the Chamber that afternoon, that 
the French Government would reject the note; the 
others had not even that much. The Times was also 
the only New York paper which printed on Thursday 
morning the comments of the Paris press in their 
issues of the same day — comments, of course, which 
could be transmitted only because of the five-hour 
difference in time, but which no other New York 
paper received in time for publication. 

Thus on one of the most important pieces of world 
news in the year 1921 The Times alone, except for 
the papers which purchase The Times' s news service 
for publication in other cities, pubHshed the contents 
of the German proposal and the fact of the French 
refusal to consider it. An achievement of this sort 
tells a good deal more about the quality of a paper 
than the exclusive publication of a single story ac- 
quired by the wide acquaintance of some member of 
its staff. It is a feat which cannot be performed on 
the spur of the moment; it implies an intricate and 
highly trained organization. That organization is 
the chief distinction of The Times today. 

The story of the modern Times has been told — 
inadequately and imperfectly, but as fully and im- 
partially as it can be told by its own family. In 
those twenty-five years The Times has gone further 
and grown faster than even the men who controlled 
it foresaw, and its growth is not yet ended. There is 
room for improvement, and the men who get it out 
every day are constantly trying to improve it; there 

386 



ass ;l I =1 i- 




SO 



SiiiiJiiMiiiiiiiilli 



fi^ 









m 



iliiiiiillilliiiiiiiiiiii. 



THE TIMES TODAY 

is room for still greater increase in prosperity and 
influence. 

No more than anything else on earth will American 
journalism ever again be the same as before 1914. 
What the opportunities and demands of the future 
will be no newspaper man can see very clearly, 
though some of them think they can see after a fash- 
ion; but it is safe to say that they will require a 
higher standard of merit from all newspapers than 
that which was sufficient from 1865 to 1914. It will 
probably be impossible for American newspapers of 
the future to achieve greatness, or even much no- 
toriety, by mere vigorous expression of partisan 
political views. No New York paper, at least, will 
ever again become great and prosperous by excellence 
merely in local news. Newspapers of the future must' 
give the news, and the news of the world. They must 
combine in proper proportion the covering of the 
news in their home tov/n, as they have learned that 
art in the last half century, with the presentation of 
the news from every continent as some of them have 
learned to present it since 1914. 

Modern science has made news-gathering more 
difficult in the sense that it has broadened immeasur- 
ably the possibilities of getting news and thus en- 
abled the most enterprising newspapers to set a very 
high standard for their competitors. The example 
given above will suggest that when a news story may 
be covered simultaneously by cable, wireless or tele- 
graph, in London, Paris, Berlin and Washington, the 
paper which expects to cover it merely by a telegram 
from the Washington office is sometimes going to be 
left behind. A good newspaper of today needs a 

387 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

larger, more intricate, more efficient and more ex- 
pensive organization than the best editors of twenty 
years ago could have imagined. 

It is possible that the progress of invention will 
make competition still keener in another direction. 
Last year, during the Republican Convention at 
Chicago, The Times sent its city edition out by air- 
plane mail and delivered it at Chicago in the course 
of the afternoon. Before many years have gone this 
may be a matter of course; and thus for the first 
time it may be possible to have in America some- 
thing approaching a really national newspaper. 
There can never be national newspapers in this 
country as in France and England, because of the 
limitations our vast distances impose upon deliv- 
ery; but when New York papers are delivered every- 
where east of the Mississippi on the day of publica- 
tion, as they certainly will be within a decade or so, 
they will have an opportunity for taking on a good 
deal more of a national character than they have 
ever had in the past. 

Undoubtedly The New York Times today ap- 
proaches the character of a national newspaper 
more nearly than any other in America. It does so, 
of course, because of its copious presentation of 
general news, national and international, which is 
made possible by the fact that The Times is fortu- 
nate enough to have in the city where it is published 
a large clientele which will be interested in this news. 
One of the obstacles in the way of establishing a sort 
of generalized national newspaper such as is some- 
times talked of by doctrinaires is the fact that 
every newspaper has to be printed and published 

388 



THE TIMES TODAY 

somewhere; that the difficulties of distribution 
make it inevitable that a very large proportion of its 
reading public will be local; and that most people 
want to find in their paper a good deal of news about 
the town in which they live. The Times attempts 
to cover the local news as adequately as its com- 
petitors, but it is fortunate in being the favorite 
with that part of the New York reading public 
which is also keenly interested in the news of the 
world. It is, accordingly, able to devote a great 
deal more of its space to the presentation in extenso 
of news of general interest, and consequently has a 
larger circulation outside the metropolitan district 
than any other New York paper. It is widely read 
in Washington; and in California it probably has a 
larger circulation than all other New York papers 
combined. 

It is only a guess, but probably a safe guess, that 
The Times is also more generally read over the 
world than any other American paper. It has mail 
subscribers in the Aland Islands, in Mauritius, and 
all over the South Seas; m almost every state or 
colony of Africa; in Sivas of Anatolia, in Tarsus of 
Cilicia, in Bagdad and in Bandar Abbas. And by 
no means all of its Asiatic subscribers are wandering 
Americans; even outside of Japan and China, a good 
many of them are Asiatics who find something of 
interest in The New York Times. 

The newspaper business in the future will not be a 
game for pikers. The Times today has some 1800 em- 
ployes; its daily pay roll exceeds ^10,000; it uses a daily 
average of nearly 200 tons of paper. The cost 
of news-getting may be surmised from the fact that 

389 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

some $25,000 was spent by The Times in covering 
the two national conventions of 1920. It would 
be rather hazardous to assert that nobody could 
come into the New York newspaper field today on a 
*' shoestring," as Mr. Ochs did in 1896, and succeed 
— hazardous, because even in 1896 all the experts 
said that he could not rehabilitate The Times without 
spending millions of dollars. But at least it seems 
quite unlikely that anything like this could be done 
now. 

In the past twenty-five years five New York 
papers have died. The Advertiser, The Mercury, 
The News and The Press have all disappeared. 
Neither The Herald nor The Sun has disappeared in 
name, but at any rate there is only one morning 
paper where both The Herald and The Sun grew 
before. Of the papers which were in existence in 
1896 and are still appearing today some have sur- 
vived because they have made money, and some 
because they are owned by wealthy men who can 
stand the loss. And it is significant that the only 
new daily paper which has been established in New 
York in the past twenty-five years — a paper, it 
should be observed, which is of a somewhat special- 
ized character, predominantly a "picture paper," 
and can be produced much more cheaply than 
a daily of the ordinary type — is owned by the 
wealthy corporation which publishes The Chicago 
Tribune, and which could not only supply The Daily 
News with its telegraph and cable news and its 
features without added cost, but could put up the 
money to keep it going till it got on its feet. 

The increased cost of production has reduced 
390 



THE TIMES TODAY 

the number of papers in most of the other cities of 
the country as well as in New York. It takes 
money not only to start a paper but to keep it going 
if it does not pay its way — more money than was 
needed twenty-five years ago. The natural result is 
concentration, the absorption of failing papers by 
their more prosperous competitors. That perhaps 
may not be altogether in the public interest, espe- 
cially in a city of secondary rank which used to 
support two or three morning papers and now has 
only one. Even Chicago has now only two morning 
newspapers in the English language. It is con- 
ceivable that in a city of two and three quarter 
milUon people there are a good many readers who 
are not wholly satisfied with either of those papers, 
but to start another in successful competition would 
require both unusual ability and a great deal of 
money. 

New daily papers, unless supported by men who 
are quite willing to go on throwing millions into them 
until they get on their feet in competition with 
established papers whose annual income alread}^ 
runs into the millions, are more likely to renounce 
all hope of competing with those already established 
in the covering of general news, and restrict them- 
selves to particular interests. Even that will imply 
some serious disadvantages; for example, with two 
or three such publications competing with newspapers 
of the more usual type there is bound to be a good 
deal of waste in advertising. With certain news- 
papers confining their energies to only a part of the 
field, advertisers will be in doubt just how to reach 
the public they want, and a good deal more of their 

391 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

money will be required. In the opinion of the 
management of The Times, advertising which does 
not bring results is disadvantageous not only for the 
advertiser, but for the newspaper; and the most 
satisfactory situation for both is that in which the 
actual situation of every newspaper both as to 
quantity and quality of circulation is well known. 

These dangers may not be imminent, in view of the 
high cost of establishing a newspaper of any kind 
in a large city; but in somewhat modified form 
evils of this general character exist in present-day 
advertising. In the opinion of the publisher of 
The Times the most widespread defects of advertising 
today are lost motion and low visibility; and it may 
be in order to quote some of his thoughts on this sub- 
ject delivered to the Associated Advertising Clubs of 
the World in their convention at Philadelphia on 
June 26, 1916: 

It may startle you if I say that I doubt 
if there is any business in the world in 
which there is so much waste of time, 
money, and energy as in advertising and 
its correlative instrumentalities. It may 
be rank heresy for me to say this, yet I 
affirm that more than ^o per cent of the 
money spent in advertising is squandered, 
and is a sheer waste of printer's ink, be- 
cause little thought and less intelligence are 
applied, and ordinary common sense is 
entirely lacking; too frequently the dishon- 
esty stamped on its face is about all the 
intelligent reader discerns. 

The first essential of successful adver- 
tising is something to advertise; the next, 
to know how to advertise, and when and 

392 



THE TIMES TODAY 

where. Too many advertisers have naught 
to advertise save their impotence and their 
folly. Too often the impelling reason is 
vanity — to see their names in print — and 
the greatest damage results when business 
prudence is dethroned and the advertising 
is done for ulterior reasons, either to favor 
some individual or to promote some sinister 
purpose. But it is not of that kind of wast- 
age I wish to speak, for we have no interest 
in that sort of advertiser. I have in mind 
some well-intentioned advertisers' lost mo- 
tion and consequently low visibility. 

I say some advertisers — though I should 
say many advertisers. To my mind the 
worst evil is the thoughtless and careless 
method in buying advertising space. If 
the advertiser wishes to build a house or a 
factory he investigates and informs him- 
self; employs an architect; usually invites 
proposals and awards the construction to a 
responsible builder. When he buys his sup- 
pHes he studies the markets; he informs 
himself; he engages efficient assistants. 
To sell his goods or products, he concen- 
trates all his faculties to study the trade 
and meet competition. But when he 
comes to advertising, his business judg- 
ment seems atrophied; his conceit pre- 
dominates; his prejudices have full sway; 
favoritism and personal feelings are potent 
influences. The care and scrutiny he exer- 
cises in all other branches are woefully lack- 
ing in his advertising department. The 
attitude assumed toward the publication 
favored — I use the word favored advisedly 
— is one of benevolence. 

Let me illustrate the advertiser's lost 
motion by an example. He decides to adver- 

393 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

tise. He consults various agencies; he too 
often selects the cheapest — lost motion. 
A list of publications is selected; too often 
the controlling factors are extra commission 
or rebate, personal friendship, low rates — 
lost motion. In the preparation of copy: 
little time and poor talent employed — 
lost motion. Finally, cheap papier-mache 
impressions of the advertisement are sent 
to the publications instead of good electro- 
types, resulting in bad printing — lost 
motion, and certainly low visibility, if any 
visibility at all. 

There are few acts of advertisers more 
stupid than to give time and thought to 
the preparation of copy, to fuss and fume 
with artists and compositors for an effec- 
tive display, pay large sums for space, and 
then, to save a few pennies or a little time, 
mar the whole effect by supplying the 
publication a matrix from which to make 
a stereotype plate. You often see evidence 
of that kind of advertising shortsighted- 
ness, for it stands out like a sore thumb. 

Now, about lost motion and low visibility 
by the advertising agent. The most glar- 
ing fault is when the agent uses his credit 
and standing beyond his personal resources 
and speculates in the result of his client's 
business. That's low visibility, for if he 
would look beyond his nose he would dis- 
cover breakers ahead and about them 
frightful wreckage of some of the stoutest 
ships, even when steered by the ablest 
mariners. It is the exception that proves 
the rule if an advertising agent, departing 
from his legitimate business, avoids disaster. 

An agent mars his reputation as a safe 
adviser and counselor when, for the small 

394 



THE TIMES TODAY 

immediate profit in sight, he takes the busi- 
ness of an advertiser who has nothing to 
advertise except, perhaps, a bad name; or 
one whose advertising a tyro in the business 
should know would bring no results. Here's 
where truth should prevail, and the pro- 
posed advertiser warned against wasting 
his money. 

"I only handle advertising which my 
expert knowledge and experience cause me 
to believe will justify the expenditure.'' 
What a drawing card that would be for an 
agent if he could succeed in making those 
interested know its truth. 

Now, as to the publisher — the third 
party to the transaction. How about his 
lost motion and low visibility.'^ I cannot 
even begin to catalogue his deHnquencies 
under that head; it would consume too 
much time. But this I will say, that there 
is no other business in which there is so 
much lost motion and low visibility as in 
the publishing business. The wastage is 
frightful, appalling, and disheartening to 
those who have the temerity to acquaint 
themselves with the facts. 

I refer especially to newspaper publishers, 
and it is of their bad practices I shall say 
a few words, for I cannot trust myself to 
unloose my pent-up feelings on that sub- 
ject, in fear lest it largely partake of self- 
condemnation. 

In the matter of advertising rates there 
seems to be only one established rule, viz., 
"All the traffic will bear.'' There seems 
to be no standard, no basis from which to 
begin, and consequently rates are altogether 
arbitrary. Common sense and ordinary 
rules of logic play little part. Rates are 

395 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

fixed in the easiest way; that is, along the 
line of least resistance. Is it any wonder 
that the advertiser is disquieted and not 
trustful when he is asked to sail the un- 
charted seas? 

The besetting sin is low rates. If you wish 
to see intelligent advertising, effective 
advertising, advertising that attracts the 
reader, where there is the least lost motion 
in space and words, you will find it in the 
publications maintaining w^hat the adver- 
tiser considers high rates; and, on the other 
hand, the thoughtless, worthless advertising 
predominates where the rates are low. 

I am not comparing largely circulated 
publications with those of small circulation. 
I have in mind publications of relatively 
the same circulation. When rates, in a de- 
sirable medium, are what the advertiser 
thinks comparatively high, he must con- 
sider quality, and nine times out of ten the 
quality or character of the circulation is 
the deciding factor. Cheap rates destroy 
more advertising than they create, for 
they encourage useless and profitless ad- 
vertising. 

I have a theory that the basic rate should 
be one cent a line per thousand circulation, 
in a publication where the advertising 
columns are given the consideration to 
which they are entitled, and the advertising 
placed to the best advantage for results 
with regard to the publication's good repu- 
tation and the reader's interest. There 
may be less advertising space in the pub- 
lication, but what there is would be better 
done and more effective. I am discussing 
advertising in its broadest aspect; cases 
in which there is something to advertise 

396 



THE TIMES TODAY 

and advertising space is purchased with 
a view to the result of its direct appeal. 

I wish to make clearer what I have just 
said regarding the placing of advertising 
with reference to the publication's good 
reputation and the reader's interest. I 
mean the advertisement should not be dis- 
guised; the reader should recognize it as an 
advertisement; no sailing under false colors. 
Advertising that cannot pay one cent a 
line per thousand circulation is hardly- 
worth doing. 

Newspapers have a variety of rates, 
usually the highest for the business that 
naturally comes to them, and the lowest for 
such as prefer another medium; not infre- 
quently this discrimination is against the 
interests of the best clients. 

The ideal newspaper advertising rate is 
a flat rate — one rate for all kinds of ad- 
vertising; no time or space discount; a 
space limitation and extra charge for per- 
missible exceptions and preferences. 

There is no good excuse for reducing the 
rate because the advertisement has news 
value, for the greater the news value the 
stronger the justification for remunerative 
rates. 

A word with reference to the belief in 
some quarters that the advertiser bears too 
great a proportion of the expense of pub- 
hcation. This creates the popular delusion 
of an unequal division of the expense be- 
tween advertisers and readers. An estab- 
Hshed newspaper is entitled to fix its 
advertising rates so that its net receipts 
from circulation may be left on the credit 
side of the profit and loss account. To 
arrive at net receipts, I would deduct from 
397 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

the gross the cost of promotion, distribution, 
and other expenses incidental to circulation. 
I affirm this on the principle that the 
advertiser wishes to encourage the widest 
distribution, for without impairing its 
merits the less costly the publication the 
larger its circulation, hence the more 
valuable and less costly the advertising; so, 
the less the reader pays, the less the ad- 
vertising costs, and if circulation augments 
profits the publisher is rewarded for stimu- 
lating it. To assert that therefore the 
newspaper is solely or dangerously depend- 
ent on the advertiser is to declare that 
advertising has no value, that advertisers 
have no inteUigence, and that the pub- 
lisher does not know independence when 
he enjoys it. It is an axiom in newspaper 
publishing — "more readers, more inde- 
pendence of the influence of advertisers; 
fewer readers and more dependence on 
advertisers." It may seem like a contra- 
diction (yet it is the truth) to assert: the 
greater the number of advertisers, the less 
influence they are individually able to exer- 
cise with the publisher. 

A lot of nonsense is circulated about the 
advertiser's control of the newspaper. A 
newspaper improperly controlled by an 
advertiser is the exception that proves the 
rule. 

There are some compensations for those dis- 
advantages which modern conditions have brought. 
The high cost of establishing a newspaper or of 
conducting an unsuccessful newspaper makes it 
rather unlikely that in the future papers will be 
maintained, as they have sometimes been in the 

398 



THE TIMES TODAY 

past, for ulterior reasons — that is, with some other 
purpose than the presentation of the news. Finan- 
cial or political interests are not likely to buy 
papers to support their views if they are going to 
have to spend millions on this type of publicity — 
a type which is apt to be unremunerative, since a 
paper subservient to external interests is usually 
very soon recognized for what it is, and loses all 
standing in consequence. Nor will it be so easy in 
the future as it has been in the past for wealthy 
men to buy newspapers as playthings. 

The larger scale of present-day journalism has 
some other advantages. It has pretty nearly re- 
moved some of the temptations, such as subservience 
to advertisers or to political subsidies, which were 
constantly present with the publisher of past years. 
The perils of journalism today are those of most other 
human activities — slackness, routine, over-confi- 
dence, shortsightedness. They are most serious, 
perhaps, on the most successful papers, where the 
temptation to ride on a great reputation is most 
seductive. If American newspaper history teaches 
anything, it teaches that riding on a reputation is 
the surest road to ruin. Every paper in New York 
can read that in its own record. 

For these consolations, such as they are, all news- 
paper men who take their business seriously should 
be thankful. In a sense, perhaps, the newspaper 
business is a public utility, but it differs from other 
public utilities in that competition is essential to its 
usefulness. Theoretically, there can be too much 
competition in the newspaper field, but there is not 
likely to be in the next few decades. And it is a bad 

399 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

thing for any business to become so expensive that 
only a rich man can even dream of coming into it and 
shaking it up, for experience has shown that men who 
have acquired wealth in other occupations rarely 
provide very formidable competition when they go 
into the newspaper business; and, like all other busi- 
nesses, it needs shaking up now and then. In the 
larger cities at least the newspaper field is virtually 
closed, restricted to those who now occupy it. The 
responsibility on them is all the heavier, for unless 
they do their work well it will not be done. And it 
has to be done in a democracy. 

The recovery of The Times since 1896 is without 
parallel in modern newspaper history, and for the 
reasons given above it is likely to remain without 
parallel. Yet it may be that its history has some 
useful lessons for newspaper makers. What those 
lessons are any reader may infer from the story which 
has here been told. In the opinion of the manage- 
ment of The Times, perhaps the most important les- 
son is that integrity, common sense and good judg- 
ment are more likely to bring success than wild 
extravagances, constant experimentation and the 
frantic following of each new fashion. The fact that 
a particular policy or a particular feature has been a 
success on one paper is no guarantee that it will be 
successful everywhere. In the newspaper business, 
as in most other businesses, the surest road to success 
— in the opinion of the management of The Times — 
is to know what you want to do and know how to do 
it. If the new publisher who took charge of The 
Times in 1896 had tried to imitate The Herald, The 

400 



THE TIMES TODAY 

World ox The Journal — the three brilliantly successful 
papers of the day — he would merely have accom- 
pHshed his own ruin; and he could not have rebuilt 
The Times if he had not known his business from the 
ground up. Contrary to the opinion held in some 
quarters, newspaper making is skilled labor; it can- 
not be performed by any well-intentioned amateur. 



401 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 

Twenty-five Years* Record of Advertising Growth 
of ''The New York Times" 

YEAR AGATE LINES 

1896 2,227,196 

1897 2,408,247 

1898 . 2,433.193 

1899 3.378,750 

1900 3,978,620 

I9OI 4.957.205 

1902 5.501.779 

1903 5,207,964 

1904 5,228,480 

1905 5.958,322 

1906 6,033,457 

1907 6,304,298 

1908 5.897.332 

1909 7.194.703 

I9IO 7.550,650 

I9II 8,130,425 

I912 8,844,866 

I913 9.327.369 

I914 9.164,927 

191 5 9,682,562 

1916 11,552,496 

1917 12,509,587 

1918 13,518,255 

1919 19,682,562 

1920 o . . 23,447,395 



402 



HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 



Twenty-five Years' Record of Circulation Growth 
of *'The New York Times*' 

YEAR COPIES 

October, 1896 21,516 

1897 22,456 

1898 25,726 

1899' 76,260 

1900 82,106 

1901 102,472 

1902 105,416 

1903 106,386 

1904 118,786 

1905 120,710 

1906 131,140 

1907 i43>46o 

1908 172,880 

1909 i^4>3i7 

1910 191,981 

1911 i97>375 

1912 209,751* 

1913 230,360* 

1914 259,673* 

1915 318.274* 

1916 340,904* 

1917 357.225* 

1918 368,492* 

1919 362,971* 

1920 342,553* 

April 1921 352,528* 

* Average net paid daily and Sunday circulation reported' to the Post OflBce De- 
partment for the six months immediately preceding, in accordance with Act of Con- 
gress August 24, 1912. 

403 



"All the News That's Fit to Print." 

NEW YORK, TUESDAY, DEC. 15. 1914. 

FOR THE GERMAN PEOPLE, PEACE 
WITH FREEDOM. 

Germany Is doomed to sure defeat. 
Bankrupt In statesmanship, over- 
matched in arms, under the moral con- 
demnation of the civilized world, be- 
fflended only by the Austrian and tho 
TurK, two backward-loolcing and dying 
nfttions, desperately battling against 
the hosts of thr^e great Powers to 
which help an.d reinforcement from 
Stdtea now neutral will certainly 
cotrlei should the decision b6 long^ de- 
ferred, she pours out the blood of her 
heroic subjects and wastes her dimin- 
ishing substance in a hopeless strug- 
gle that postpQnes but cannot alter the 
fatal decree. Yet the doom of the 
German Empire may become the de- 
liverance of the German people if they 
will betimes but seize and hold their 
own. Leipsic began and Waterloo 
achieved the emancipation of the 
French people from the bloody, selfish 
and sterile domination of the Corsican 
Ogre. St. Helena made it secure. 
Sedan Sent the little Napoleok sprawl- 
ing and the statesmen of France in- 
stantly established and proclaimed the 
Republic. Will the Germans blindly 
insist on having their Waterloo, their 
•Sedan— their St. Helena, too? A 
million Germans have been sacrificed, 
a mlllio-n German homes are desolate. 
Must other millions die and yet other 
millions mourn before the people of 
Germany take in the court of reason 
'and human liberty their appeal from 
th6 Imperial and military caste that 
rushes them to their ruin? 

They have their full Justification in 
the incompetence and failure of their 
rulers. German diplomacy and Ger- 
man militarism have broken down. 
The blundering Incapacity of the 
40s 



Kaiser's counselors and servants in 
statecraft at Berlin and in foreign 
t-apitals committed Germany to a war 
Against the joined might of England. 
France and Russia. Bismarck would 
never have had it so. Before he let 
the armies take the field, before he 
gave Austria the " free hand," he 
would have had England and Russia 
by the ears, he would have Isolated 
France, as he did in 1870. The old 
Emperor, a man not above the com.- 
mon in capacity, surpassed the wisdom 
of his grandson in this, that he knew 
better than to trust his own judgmisnt 
and he was sagacious enough to call 
great men to his aid. Wilhelm II. 
was wretchedly served at Vienna by 
an Ambassador blinded by Russo- 
phobia, at St. Petersburg by another 
who advised his home Government that 
Russia would not go to war, and at 
London by the muddling Lichnowskt, 
whose first guesses were commonly 
wron^ and his second too late to be 
fierviceable. Germany literally forced 
an alliahce for this war between 
England and Russia, two Powers 
often antagonistic in the past and 
having now no common interest save 
th6 curbing of Germany. The ter- 
rible misjudgment of the General 
Staff hurled Germany headlong Into 
the pit that Incompetent diplomacy 
had prepared. The Empire went to 
war with three great nations able to 
meet her with forces moro than 
double her own. 

Then the worth of that iron military 
discipline and of the forty years of 
'Ceaseless preparation to which Ger- 
many had sacrificed so mufch of the 
productive power of her people was 
put to the test Again the colossal im- 
perial machine broke down. It was 
not through incompetence. The Ger- 
man Army was magnificent in its 
strength. In equipment, and in valor. 
It was overmatched, it had attempted 
the impossible. That was the fatal 
liluhder. The first rush upon Paris 



406 



was Intended to be Irresistible; that 
was the plan of the General Staff; 
France crushed, Russia could be sent- 
about her business. It was not ir- 
resistible, It was checked, it was re- 
pulsed. When the Invaders were 
driven back from the Marno to the 
Alsne and the Belgian frontier Ger- 
many's ultimate defeat was registered 
in the book of fate and heralded to the 
watching world. Germany's battle line 
has been forced back to where it stood 
when it first encountered the French. 
Calais • is freed from her menace, 
Tannenberg was but an incident 
to the swarming hordes of Russia. 
What boots it if she enters Lodz, 
If she seize Warsaw, what even 
If by some unlocked for turn of for- 
tune she again approach the walls of 
Paris? KiTCHENEE's new million of 
trained men will be in France before 
the snows have melted in the Vosges, 
and Russia is inexhaustible. 

There is within the German view an 
even more sinister portent. The 
world cannot, will not, let German^ 
win in this war. With her dominating 
all Europe peac6 and security would 
vanish from the earth. A few months 
ago the world only dimly comprehend- 
ed Germany, now it knows her thor- 
oughly. So if England, France and 
Russia cannot prevail against her, 
Italy, with her two millions, the sturdy 
Hollanders, the Swiss, hard men in a 
fight, the Danes, the Greeks and the 
men of the Balkans Will come to their 
aid and make sure that the work is 
finished, once for all. For their own 
peace and safety the nations must de- 
molish that towering structure of mili- 
tarism in the centr6,of Europe that has 
become the world's danger-spot,, its 
greatest menace. 

The only possible ending of the war 
Is through the defeat of Germany. 
Driven back to her Rhiae strongholds, 
she will offer a stubborn resistance. 
Even with the Russians near or act- 
ually in Berlin she would fight on, 
407 



But for what? Why? Because the 
German people, the very people, are 
resolved to get. themselves all killed 
before the inevitable day of the en- 
emy's triumph?. Not at all. The 
weary men in the trenches and the 
distresse^people merely obey the or- 
ders g-iven by imperial and military 
authority. For the men in those high 
quarters defeat would be the end of 
all. Desperation, with some possible, 
admixture of blind confidence, will 
continue the. war. But. why should the 
German people make further sacrifice 
of blood to save the pride and the 
shoulder- straps of German official- 
dom? It means a million more battle- 
field grrayes. It-ineans frightful addi- 
tioTis to the bill of costs and to the 
harshness of the, terms. Since the 
more dreadful ending fs in plain view, 
why not force the better ending now? 

But this is revolution. That may be 
Bo; call It so. Definitions are useful, 
they are not deterrent. Is there in all 
history anV record of a whole people 
rising against their rulers in the 
midst of a great war? Let the his- 
torians answer the question. Is it con- 
ceivable that the loyal German peo- 
ple, made one by the love of the 
Fatherland and devoted to the ac- 
complishment of the imperial ideals, 
could be stirred to revolt while still 
unconquered? That concerns the 
prophets. We 'are concerned neither 
with precedents nor with prophecy. 
We have aimed here to make clear the 
certainty of Germany's defeat and to 
sht)w that if she chooses to fight to 
the bitter end her ultimate and sure 
overthrow will leave her bled to ex- 
haustion, drained bt her resources, and 
under sentence to penalties of which 
the stubbornness of her futile resist- 
ance will measure the severity. We 
could wish that the German people, 
seeing the light, might t^ko timely 
measures to avert the calamities that 
await them. 

It may well 1)0 doubted that they 
408 



will stvo the H^rht. But have not the 
men of German blood in this country 
a duty to perform to their "beleaguered 
brethren In the old home? Americans 
of Gofman birth or cf German descent 
should SCO and feel Uv^ trulh ,i,bout 
the present position of Germany, thd 
probability for the Hear, th^ certainty 
for the remoter, future. At honje tho 
GerftianB cqjinot ' know tJio whole 
truth; it Ig rot permitted thern to'' 
know it It v/Ill be* unfraternal and 
most cruel for German-Americans 
further to keep tfee truth from them, 
or to fail in thetr plain, duty to make 
known to them ho-vV low the imperiaLl 
and militaristic Ideal h&s fallen in the 
world's esteem, and to bring them to 
.understand that tho enemies they now 
oorifroiit aro but the. first lino of civ- 
Jlizatlcn'"3 defense* agtinst the menace' 
of tho swori2 tliat forever rattles in 
its scabfcarX Tlio sv/ord must so. tho 
scabbard, too^ fitid th* ehiuing armor. 
If th^ Germam* here; havo £\,t all tho 
ear of tho Germans tliere, ..can they 
not tell them k6? They have como 
here to cccapa the everlasting: din of 
war's trapping-*;- they have come to 
fijid peace and quiet in a land of lib- 
erty and law, where government rests 
on tho consent of tho groverned, where 
tha p3opIo hy their chosen representa- 
tives, when there is a question of g-o- 
Ing- into tha trencjieg to be slain, have 
something to eay abotit it. Have they 
ever trfed to get Into 'the heads of 
their friends In the Fatherland some 
Idea of the comforts. and advantages 
of being governed in- that Vv-ay? In- 
stead of vainly trj'ing to change the 
Tvell-nifitured convictions of the Amer- 
icans, why not labor for the conver- 
sion of their brother Germans? 

The State is Pow<^r,- said Teeitsciike. 
He would have written Tennyson's 
lino " The individual withers, the State 
Is more and more." In the German 
teaching the State *is" everything, to 
the State the individual must sacrifice 
everything. With us the State Is the 

409 



social organization by which men as- 
sure to themselves the free play of In- 
dividual genius, each man's right in 
peace and security to work out his in- 
dividual purposes. If the German- 
Americans prize the privileges they 
have enjoyed under our theory of the 
State, ought they not to tell the Ger- 
mans at home what it means for the 
individual to he free from quasi-vas- 
salage? There is. no ptjople on ear tit 
more worthy to enjoy the blessings of 
freedom than the Germans.' Germany 
lias taken her place in the very front 
of civilization, freed from the double 
incubus of imperialism d.nd militarism 
the German genius would have a 
marvelous development. It Is not in 
the thought of Germany's foes to 
crush the German people, the world 
would not let them be crushed. It has 
for them the highest esteem, it will 
acclaim the day when it can resume 
friendly and uninterrupted relations 
with them.. But the headstrong, mis- 
guided, and dangerous rulers of Ger- 
many are going to be called to stern 
account, and the reckoning will be 
paid by the German people in just the 
proportion that they make common 
cause with the blindly arrogant ruling 
class. "When representative Ameri- 
cans and men of peace like Dr. Eliot 
and Andrew Cabnegie Irislst that there 
can be no permanent peace until an 
end has been made of German milir 
tarism, sober-minded Germans, here as 
well as In Germany, ought not to turn 
a deaf ear to such voices, for they 
speak the opinion of the world. The 
bill of costs mounts frightfully with 
every month's prolongation of the war 
and the toll of human live§ is every 
day ruthlessly taken. It may be a 
counsel of unattainable perfection to 
S3.y that the German people ought now 
to end the war. But for their own 
happiness, for their own homes, for 
their Interests and their future, it Is 
true. The truth of the counsel is un-^ 
conquerable. . 

410 



Roster of 

The New York Times 

Company 

Adolph S. Ochs President 

Charles R. Miller Vice-President 

Julius Ochs Abler Vice-President 

Arthur Hays Sulzberger Vice-President 

Julius Ochs Abler ... Treasurer 

Ben. C. Franck Secretary 



BOARD OF DIRECTORS 

Adolph S. Ochs Charles R. Miller Ben. C. Franck 

G. W. Ochs Oakes Iphigene Ochs Sulzberger 



PUBLISHER 

*Adolph S. Ochs 

Executive Council 

Abolph S. Ochs Charles R. Miller Carr V. Van Anda 

Julius Ochs Abler Louis Wiley Arthur Hays Sulzberger 

Assistants to the Publisher 

Julius Ochs Abler Arthur Hays Sulzberger *Ben. C. Franck 

*Kate L. Stone, Secretary to the Publisher 

Secretaries and Clerks 

ALICE M. JENKINS MAURA L. o'sULLIVAN C. R. SAFFORD 

peter brown JOHN R. HOUSTON ANBREW JORDAN 

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J. bentley squier, jr. 



Attorney 

Alfred A. Cook, General Counsel 
George Norris, Associate Attorney 



• Twenty-five years or more with The Times. 

411 



ROSTER OF THE NEW YORK TIMES COMPANY 
EDITORIAL DEPARTMENT 

*Charles R. Miller, Editor-in-chief 

RoLLO Ogden, Associate Editor 

John H. Finley, Associate Editor 

Editorial Staff 

Henry E. Armstrong *E. A. Bradford John Corbin 

Elmer Davis Edward M. Kingsbury *F. C. Mortimer 

Frank D. Root Charles H. Grasty 

NEWS DEPARTMENT 

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Hal. H. Smith . Asst. Mgr. Washington Office 

Ernest A. Marshall Manager London Office 

Edwin L. James Manager Paris Office 

• Twenty-five years or more with The Times. 

412 



ROSTER OF THE NEW YORK TIMES COMPANY 



News and Editorial Staff 



*ABRAHAMS, MICHAEL B. 
ACKERMAN, JOHN D. 
ANDREWS, HENRY V. 
AUSTIN, FREDERICK A. 
BARCLAY, GEO. E. 
BEAN, RODNEY 
BECAN, JOHN 
BELL, JEFFERSON G. 
BERONOWSKI, ANDREW- 
BLAKE, GEO. W. 
BLANPIED, RALPH D. 
BLYTHE, WALTER E. 
BOND, F. FR.\ZER 
BRADY, EDWARD 
BRANNAN, DANA 
BROADWELL, ARTHUR 
BROWN, CYRIL 
BROWN, JOHN 
BROWN, PERCY 
BURGESS, ARTHUR 
BUTCHER, JESSE S. 
CAMPBELL, JOHN R. 
CASARIO, EUGENE 
CHASE, W. B. 
CHESTERTON, GEO. L. 
CLARKE, HAZEL 
CLARKE, VINCENT 
COLLINS, WILLIAM 
CONNERY, TIM 
CORTESI, ELIZABETH 
CORUM, MARTENE W. 
CRANE, F. W. 
CROUCH, H. C. 
CURLEY, JOHN W. 
DAVIDSON, CHARLES M. 
DAWSON, JAMES 
DAWSON, ROBERT P. 
DAY, JOSEPH T. 
DELANO, EDWIN F. 
DE NARDO, ANTHONY 
DE PUY, FRANK A. 
DICKEY, CARL 
DONLON, J. S. 
DURANTY, WALTER 
EATON, MALCOLM 
EVERETT, ETHEL W. 
FARDON, JAMES 
FELD, ROSE C. 
FELLEMAN, HAZEL 
FINCH, TOLITA MAY 



FISCHER, ELIZ. M. 
FISKE, D. W. 
FOLEY, MAURICE 
FORD, COREY H. 
FOX, ARTHUR 
GLEASON, LILLIAN 
GOBETZ, ARTHUR 
GODDARD, PERCIVAL S. 
GORDON, JOHN J. 
GORMAN, HERBERT S. 
GRANT, J. C. 
GROVE, J. H. 
HAGERTY, JAMES A. 
HAGGERTY, MICHAEL F. 
HALLIGAN, EDWARD 
HAMBIDGE, C. G. 
HAMEL, GASTON 
HAMILTON, THOMAS C. 
HARDING, JOHN W. 
HARRIS, FRANCES D. 
HARRISON, JAMES R. 
HAYS, GENE 
HEATH, ELIZ. M. 
HEDDEN, GEORGIANA 
HERTEL, H. H. 
HINTON, HAROLD B. 
HIRSCHEL, IRVING 
HIRSCHEL, TOBIE 
HOLLAND, JAMES 
HOLME, LEONARD R. 
HOYT, PHILIP D. 
HUGHES, CHARLES F. 
HUNTER, FRANK 
HUNTINGTON, WM. R. 
HUTCHISON, PERCY A. 
IRWIN, JR., F. N. 
IVERSON, REGINALD 
JAEGER, FRED A. 
JANNET, ADY 
JOHNSTON, ALVA 
JONES, WATKIN 
KAUFMAN, GEO. S. 
KEARNEY, AGNES 
KEARNS, FRANK 
KEENAN, WALTER M. 
KELLY, MRS. F. F. 
KELLY, JOHN 
KEPPLE, ERNEST P. 
KING, EARL 
KLAUBER, EDWARD 



KNOX, PURVES T. 
KROLL, MORTIMER J. 
KURTH, JR., OTTO 
KURTZ, HENRY 
LANE, MILTON 
LARITY, THOMAS 
EARNED, RICHARD M. 
LAVIN, JOHN 
LAWSON, WILLIAM E. 
LEA, J. H. 
LEWIS, HENRY N. 
LINN, JR., THOMAS C. 
LONG, E. JOHN 
LOTT, ELLA K. 
LYMAN, LAUREN D. 
MaCNEIL, NEIL 
MARSHALL, FRANCES W. 
MARTIN, WALTER T. 
MASON, JOSEPH 
*MCCAHILL, W. J. 
MCDONALD, ANNA 
MCDONALD, GEORGE 
MCDOWELL, R. K. 
MCGINITY, LEO A. 
MCGILL, FRED W. 
MCMANUS, JOHN 
MCSWEENEY, EDWARD 
MICHAEL, C. R. 
MILLAR, H. PERCY 
MORAN, STEVE 
MUELLER, LOGAN E. 
MUENCH, FRED 
MULLER, WILLIAM 
NAINOR, ANDREW 
NETZER, JACK 
NIXON, WILSON K. 
O'CONNELL, JOHN J. 
o'cONNOR, F. J. 
OWEN, JOHN 
OWEN, RUSSELL D. 
PHILIP, P. J. 
PORTER, R. S. 
PRAET, JAMES J. 
RAE, BRUCE 
RAUCH, MAY 

RICHARDSON, WILLIAM D. 
RIDDELL, BEATRICE 
ROBINSON, F. H, 
ROBINSON, JOHN E. 
ROSENBERG, R. 



* Twenty-five years or more with Tl^e Times. 



413 



ROSTER OF THE NEW YORK TIMES COMPANY 
News and Editorial Staff — Continued 



ROSENTHAL, DELPHINE 
ROWLAND, EDITH 
RYAN, JOHN 
SACKETT, WILLIAM E. 
SAPIA, JANE 
SCHLOSSER, WILLIAM 
SCHOCH, WALTER 
SCHUMANN, CHARLES 
SCHWARTZ, SADIE 
SHAPS, JACK 
SNYDER, FRANCES 
SOULE, H, P. 
SPEARING, JAMES O. 
SPEERS, L. C. 
SPENCER, H. S. 
STARK, LOUIS 
STAUB, WILLIAM 
STEFFEN, CHARLES 
STEFFEN, J. HAL. 



STEPHENS, DOLORES 
STEWART, EDWARD J. 
STRUSINSKI, NICHOLAS 
SUETTER, BENJAMIN 
SULLIVAN, JOS. F. 
SWARTZ, ARTHUR 
TAFT, MARY A. 
TALLEY, TRUMAN H. 
THOMPSON, C. W. 
THORNE, VAN BUREN 
TURPIN, RUFUS E. 
VAN NESS, FRED A. 
VULTEE, L. H. 
WADE, MARGARET 
WALL, FLORENCE 
WALSH, LEONARD 
WAMSLEY, WILBUR F. 
WARN, W. A. 
WATERS, JOSEPH 



WEAVER, JOS. A. 
WEBER, ABRAHAM 
WELDON, M. L. 
WHITE, EDITH 
WHITNEY, C. H. 
WIDLIZKA, ANTAN 
WILKIE, ENID 
WILL, ALLEN S. 
WILLIAMS, FLORENCE E. 
WILLIAMS, T. W. 
WILLIAMSON, S. T. 
WILSON, WILLIAM R. 
WIMBROUGH, A. C. 
WOOD, LEWIS 
WRIGHT, JEAN 
WRIGHT, WILLIAM C. 
YERION, RUTH 
YOUNG, JAMES C. 
ZOLOTOW, SAMUEL 



BUSINESS DEPARTMENT 

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♦ Twenty -five years or more with The Times. 

414 



ROSTER OF THE NEW YORK TIMES COMPANY 

Business Department — Continued 



ADAMS, WALTER C. 
AGOADO, JOSEPH 
ALLUISI, GEORGE 
APPLEGATE, GERTRUDE G. 
ARDELL, HERBERT S. 
ASTON, HENRY H. 
BABCOCK, FRANCIS M. 
BACHRAN, JOHN E. 
BACON, MRS. HATTIE 
BALL, E. SULLIVAN 
BANGS, GILBERT M. 
BANKS, HARRIET D. 
BARNETT, GEORGE F. 
BASILOWITZ, MICHAEL 
PAXTER, IRVING C. 
BECK, AUGUSTUS 
BEERE, SEYMOUR 
BELL, ROBERT 
BENDER, WILLIAM 
BENNETT, MAE V. 
BERGEN, MARGARET 
BERGEN, PHILIP 
BERGER, HELEN 
BERKERY, ROSE 
BIGELOW, BURT M. 
BIGGS, RICHARD 
BISSETT, WILLIAM 
BLOCH, LENA 
BOEHM, HULDA M. 
BOLEI, EVELYN 
BOND, FRANK 
BRADLEY, MARGARET 
BRENNEN, CATHERINE 
BRENNEN, CHARLES J. 
BRENNEN, MAY 
BROSNAN, AGNES 
BROWN, HARRY W. 
BRUMER, FRANCES 
BUCHOLZ, CLAIRE 
BURKE, ANNA 
BURNES, MARJORIE 
BZENAK, ANNA 
CAHILL, JOSEPH 
CAMERON, WILSON 
CANFIELD, THOMAS 
CANSE, EDWARD 
CARMODY, AGNES 
CARVILLE, ARTHUR J. 
CAVANAGH, JAMES T. 
CHESTON, ESTHER 
CLARK, ELIZABETH 



CLARK, GRACE 
CLARK, HELEN M. 
CLARK, MARGARET E. 
CLARK, NOBERN C. 
CLARKE, JAMES J. 
COCHRANE, ROBERT C. 
COHEN, GEORGE 
COLLIER, EDNA 
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CONNELL, MARY 
CONNORS, HELEN 
COOPE, JOSEPHINE 
COSTOSA, RAYMOND 
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CUNNINGHAM, FLORENCE 
CUSACK, GEORGE J. 
DALGIN, BEN 
DALTON, GERALD J. 
DALTON, MRS, G. J. 
DALY, JOSEPHINE 
DAMON, ALBERT H. 
DAVIS, PAUL 
DE COSTA, LUCILLE 
DE GWECK, GRACE 
DELANEY, WINIFRED 
DE MARRAIS, JOSEPH A. 
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DE ZAYAS, HENRIETTA 
DIX, ADELAIDE B. 
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ELFERS, HERBERT 
EMERIC, RAYMON 
ENGLANDER, BLANCHE 
ERB, CATHERINE 
EVANS, H. WILSON 
FANCIULLI, ROMOLA 



FARRELL, THOMAS 
FINNEY, CHARLES A. 
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FOOTE, ANNA 
FOOTE, IRENE 
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FRANK, MINNIE 
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FRYER, THOMAS H. 
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FYBUSH, ELBERT 
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GAW, JOSEPH 
GOERICKE, HARRY 
GOLD, EVA 

GOLDFINE, JEANNETTE 
GOMBAR, FRANK 
GORDON, HELEN 
GRAHAM, ROSE 
GRETSCHEL, CHARLES 
GRISWOLD, FRANK B. 
GROSS, EDWARD A. 
HAGEN, MABEL 
HAHN, GEORGE M. 
HAINES, EDNA 
HALLIGAN, FLORENCE 
HAMBERGER, FLORENCE 
HAMILTON, JOHN K. 
HAMMERMAN, ELIZABETH 
HANDBURY, MILDRED 
HARLAN, ANNA S. 
HARTMAN, ALICE 
HERLEHY, FRANCES 
HESLIN, MATTHEW J. 
HETFIELD, JAMES 
HICKEY, MARGARET 
HICKEY, ROSE 
HOLBERT, A. RUGGLES 
HOLLAND, JOHN 
HOLLOWAY, MURIEL 
HOLMES, AGNES 
HOOPER, DUDLEY R. 
HORAN, ALICE 
HORAN, MRS. J. J. 
HORAN, WINIFRED 
HUBBARD, CARLETON S. 
HUGHES, MICHAEL 
HULL, MRS. GERTRUDE 
HUNT, EDWARD 
HUTCHINSON, LAURA C. 



415 



ROSTER OF THE NEW YORK TIMES COMPANY 
Business Department — Continued 



HYNES, IRENE 
IZAGUIRRE, LORETTA 
JACKSON, CHARLES J. 
JAEGER, HENRY 
JAGELER, JOHN 
JAROS, CHARLES 
JOHNSON, ANNA W. 
JOHNSON, JOHN 
JOHNSON, MRS. MATILDA 
JONAS, STELLA 
JUDGE, MARY G. 
KALB, AUBREY 
KAUFER, OLIVE 
KAUFMAN, HENRY 
KENNEY, HUGH J. 
KING, WILLIAM W. 
KINGSMORE, HOWARD P. 
KIRCHER, BERTHA B. 
KIVLAN, FRANK J. 
KRAMPETZ, HELEN 
KRASNER, ROSE 
LACEY, ROSE 
LAURI, ROSE 
LEAHY, THOMAS 
LECK, ANNA 
LEDBETTER, WILLIAM 
LEEMAN, GEORGE 
LEIPSIG, ROSE 
LIGHTENBERG, ISAAC 
LIVINGSTON, BELLE 
LOCKARD, MRS. RAY 
LOW, ETHEL 
LYNCH, WILLIAM 
MCALOON, JOHN 
MCAVOY, META 
MCCANN, LUCINDA 
MCCOY, JOSEPH 
MCDERMOTT, MARY 
MCDOWELL, WM. J. 
MCGAHAN, FLORENCE 
MCGOWN, HENRY 
MCGRAM, HELEN 
MCGRANN, ALFONSO 
MCGRAW, WILLIAM 
MCGUINNESS, JOHN 
MCINTOSH, MCQUEEN 
MCINTYRE, EWEN C. 
MCKENNA, JOS. L. 
MCMAHON, JOHN 
MCNAMARA, ALBERT 
MCNAMARA, ELIZABETH 



MCNAMEE, FRANCIS 
MCNEILL, JOHN 
MCNULTY, FRANK L. 
MacDONALD, JOSEPH 
MAKER, BEATRICE L. 
MAHNKEN, MRS. A. 
MAINARDY, FRANK 
MALONE, RICHARD A. 
MALONEY, HARRY 
MARABLE, JUNIUS 
MARKS, SARA 
MASSEY, GEORGIANNA L. 
MATTIMORE, ANNA 
•"MAUBORGNE, EUGENE C. 
MAYER, MARGARET 
MEIERS, WALTER 
MERZ, HARRY 
MEYERS, FLORENCE 
MEYERS, GERTRUDE 
MEYERS, HELEN 
MOFFETT, MARY 
MONT, ROBERT 
MOONEY, FLORENCE 
MOOREHOUSE, ISA J. 
MORGAN, ALFRED 
MUDSE, ANTHONY J. 
MUHLKER, HERBERT C. 
MULCAHY, MARY 
MULLANEY, MARIE A. 
MUNROE, ALBERT E. 
NAUGHTON, WILLIAM J. 
NEEL, WILLIAM H. 
NEUMANN, ANTHONY 
NICHOLS, GERTRUDE E. 
NICOLL, EMANUEL 
NIEMAN, CHAUNCY W. 
NILSON, FRANK 
NOBLE, WALTER H. 
NOLAN, WARREN C. 
NORTON, ELLEN 
o'bRIEN, LILLIAN 
O'CONNELL, THOMAS 
o'cONNOR, JOSEPHINE 
o'lEARY, JOSEPH R. 

o'neill, albert 
o'neill, DONALL 

o'neill, JAMES 
OLDS EN, MINA 
OLMSTEAD, ALFRED H. 
PACCIONE, MARY F. 
PATTERSON, MARGARET 



PETERS, CARL 
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RODRIGUEZ, GERTRUDE 
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ROSS, ADOLPH R. 
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RYAN, HELEN 
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SANDLER, JACOB K. 
SANSEVERINO, GODFREY 
SAUSE, EMMA 
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SERVER, EDWARD A. 
SETZER, ABRAHAM M. 
SEWING, ALMA 
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SHEEHAN, KATHERINE 
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SLOCUM, WILLIAM W. 
SMITH, CHARLES 
SMITH, CLARA M. 
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SMITH, HARRY W. 



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416 



ROSTER OF THE NEW YORK TIMES COMPANY 

Business Department — Continued 



SMITH, LAURA M. 
SiMITH, THOMAS M. 
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SUPPLE, JULIA 
SUTCLIFF, BEATRICE M. 
SVEC, FRANK 
SWORMSTED, WOODBURN 
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THOMPSON, CAREY R. 



THORNE, FLORENCE 
TIMMONS, MARY 
TROUT, MILDRED F, 
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WALTERS, ANNA 
WARD, ETHEL 
WEINBERG, FLORENCE 
WEISHAAR, AUGUST 



WEIS, RUTH 
WELCH, ESTELLE 
WELLS, PAULINE R. 
WHITEHOUSE, LOUISE M. 
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ZUCHTMANN, VERA 



MECHANICAL DEPARTMENTS 

Charles F. Hart, Superintendent 
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BLUNT, RICHARD 'DART, JAMES GORDON, PETER C. 

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CALLAHAN, LILLY DINSENBACHER, JOSEPH GRAVES, ROBERT 

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ROSTER OF THE NEW YORK TIMES COMPANY 
Mechanical Departments — Continued 



JOHNSON, HENRY 
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MCGARRY, PATRICK 
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MCGINLEY, JAMES 
MCINERNEY, TIMOTHY 
MEILLY, N. 



MINSTER, ROSE 
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PEARSALL, EUGENE 
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ROBERTSON, FRANK 
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SMITH, GEORGE 
SMITH, JOHN 
SMITH, MARY 
SMITH, WILLIAM 
STARKS, JOHN 



STERLING, JAMES 
TAYLOR, ERNEST 
TEDESCO, MINNIE 
TRIBBETT, GEORGE 
UTZ, EVA 

VANDERVALL, JAMES 
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AMEND, JOSEPH BENNETT, A. B. BUCKINGHAM, A. C. 

APOSTLE, CARL BENSON, RAYMOND *BURR, FRED. E. 

APOSTLE, NICK BILLMAN, FRED H. CAIRNS, A. G. 

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ASHLEY, HARRY BOEDECKER, WM. C. CAMPBELL, ALEX. 

BAER, LOUIS BOWERMAN, HARRY C. *CARROLL, MARTIN J. 

BARNETT, CHARLES . BOYCE, ARTHUR J. CARSON, JOS. E. 

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Composing Room — Continued 



CARVKR, WM. 

CITRO, ANTHONY 

CLARK, BEVERLY 

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COWLEY, WM. J. 

CROSBY, THOS. N. 

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CURRAN, THOS. F. 

DAVIDSON, CHAS. 

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*DESMARAIS, OSCAR 

DEW, JOHN S. 

DILLON, JOS. F. 

DILLON, THOS. M. 
*DITCHIE, FRED. 
*DOYLE, EUGENE 
*DUGAN, PATRICK 

DUGAN, WILLIAM 

DUNNE, FRANCIS 

EBY, SAM. C. 

ECKART, CHAS. 

ECKERLEIN, ALFRED 

EDWARDS, A. H. 
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FERGUSON, EDWARD 

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*FITZPATRICK, JOHN M. 

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* Twenty -five years or more 



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GREGORY, STANLEY 

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GRIFFIN, E. 

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HEGARTY, WM. H. 

HENRY, WM. 
*HESSON, HORACE W. 

HIGGINS, RAYMOND 

HILL, WALTER 

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*HOLMGREN, CHAS. 
*HOLZER, JOHN C. 

HOREY, MADELEINE 

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JAMES, EUGENE W. 
*JENSEN, PETER 

JOHNSON, E. W. 

JOHNSTON, WILLIS 

JORDAN, THOMAS J. 

JOUBERT, ANDREW 

KARRER, CONRAD 

KAUCHER, GEO. L. 

KELLY, ENOS J. 

KELLEY, JAMES 

KENNEDY, DAVID 

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KIRCHNER, JOS. 
*KLEIN, DAVID 

LAFFERTY, FORREST 
*LAUER, THEODORE C. 

LAVERTY, EDGAR 

LAWLOR, JOHN T. 

LEACH, SAM 

LEEPER, J. W. 
with The Times. 

419 



LEMENTRY, WALTER 

LEY, WILLIAM 
*LOCKWOOD, CHARLES 

LUSHBAUGH, EDWARD B. 

MCCANN, THOMAS J. 

MCCONNELL, MICHAEL 
*MCCRANEY, JAMES 

MCELDARY, JOSEPH 

MCGING, P. 
*MCGINN, JOSEPH 

MCKEAN, WILLIAM S. 

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MCNAMEE, MICHAEL 

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MCWILLIAM, HENRY 

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MALONE, AUSTIN 

MALONEY, J, 

MARKEY, E. J. 

MARTELL, RICHARD 

MARTIGNETTI, PHILLIP 
*MARTIN, ALFRED D. 

MAURICE, RICHARD S. 

MEACHAM, LAWRENCE 

MEADE, CHARLES 

MEIKLE, JOHN K. 
*MEINERT, GUSTAVE 

MELLEN, WILLIAM 

MENSHON, W. 
*MERZ, FRED. 

MINNAUGH, JOSEPH 

MITCHELL, ROBERT B. 

MONTGOMERY, VIRGIL 

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MORTON, ROBERT C. 

MOSS, GEORGE A. 

MOVER, CHARLES 

MOYNIHAN, DENNIS 

MULLER, J. HERBERT 

MURRAY, CHARLES T. 

NEALE, R. 

NOWLAN, FRANK 
*0'bRIEN, JOSEPH 

o'cONNOR, CHARLES 

o'gORMAN, EDWARD L. 

o'gORMAN, LAWRENCE T. 
*o'rOURKE, DANIEL 

OLSON, OSCAR 



ROSTER OF THE NEW YORK TIMES COMPANY 
Composing Room — Continued 



ORF, ULRICH 
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PASSUTH, GEORGE 
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PEFUND, JOHN 
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PEYTON, CHARLES 

^PIERCE, H. CLARK 
PIKE, ALFRED 
POHL, JOSEPH 
POIRIER, HECTOR 
POLLOCK, NATHANIEL 
POLOQUIN, EDWARD 
PYM, PERCY A, 

*RANDOLPH, CLARENCE 

*REAGAN, JOHN T. 
ROACH, WALTER 
ROBERTS, A. E. 
ROCHE, DAVID 
ROONEY, PATRICK 
ROSLOFSKY, A. 
RUBINSTEIN, ALBERT 
RUDOLPH, THEODORE 

*RYAN, FRANCIS 



SALVAIL, OSCAR 
SAUDER, HARRY 

*SCHUYLER, FRED J. 
SCOTT, EDWARD C. 
SHIELDS, ROBERT 
SIMON, CHARLES 
SIMONS, JOHN 
SINGER, LUCIAN 
SINGLE, HERBERT 
SOKEL, EMIL G. 

*SPOTH, JOHN C. 

*STACK, EDWARD 
STAFFORD, JOHN 
STALLEY, RICHARD 
STASNEY, EMANUEL 
STOCKER, RALPH 
SUTHERLAND, ALAN 

*SWICK, FRED N. 

*SYMMONS, JACOB 
TALBOYS, GEORGE 
TAYLOR, IRA C. 
TAYLOR, JAMES 
TAYLOR, THOMAS 
TENAGLIA, LOUIS 
THAYER, E. J. 



TOBIN, ROBERT B. 

TOURK, HARRY M. 

TULLY, JOSEPH 
*TURNEY, JACOB M. 

VAN BENSCHOTEN, F. 

VOGEL, WILLIAM 

WAAGE, FRED W. 

iWALWORTH, RUSSEL B. 

WARMINGHAM, G. H. 

WASHBURN, FRED E- 

WEEKS, FRED M. 
*WELLS, ARTHUR 

WHEELHOUSE, WILFRED. 

WHITE, F. 
*W^HITE, WILLIAM H, 

WHITEHEART, JAMES A. 

WILLEY, LEWIS A. 

WILSON, HARRY 
*WISEMAN, EDWARD 

WOLFF, ADA 

WOLTZ, WILLIAM H. 
*WOODS, WILLIAM 

ZOGRAPHOS, M. E. 

ZOGRAPHOS, PYTHAGORAS 



Stereotype Room 

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Edward T. Duffy Assistant Foreman 



bernhard, adolph 

BOYLE, CHAS. W. 
ENSWORTH, GEO. P. 
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FARMER, HARRIS 
FREESTONE, JAS. 
HENDERSON, IRVING 
HOPE, JOS. J, 
HUMPHREY, NAT. 



JOHNSON, DAVID 
KRAENGEL, WM. P. 
MCMAIION, JAS. A. 
MACK, JOS. A. 
MANN, THOS. 
MURRAY, R. S. 
o'bRIEN, WM. A. 
o'cONNOR, JAS. A. 
RAUNICKER, ROBT. 



RICHARDSON, GEO. 
ROBINSON, W. E. 
SHEHAN, MICHAEL R. 
STEIBER, SAUL 
STOPPLEWORTH, LOUIS 
VOGLER, JOHN N. 
WEAVER, WM. 
WHITE, J. W. 
WINSLOW, D. E. 



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420 



ROSTER OF THE NEW YORK TIMES COMPANY 



Press Room 

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AMSTER, SAMUEL DELVENTHAL, ARTHUR HENDERSON, GEORGE I. 

ANDERMAN, HENRY DELVENTHAL, FRED. HEYER, JOSEPH 

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BARRINGER, HERBERT DONOHUE, PETER HOGAN, JOSEPH 

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COMROY, JOSEPH GOLD, EDWARD LEAHY, JOHN 

COOPER, GEORGe] GORVEN, JOHN LEAHY, WILLIAM 

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COTTER, THOMAS GROTE, LOUIS LOGAN, GEORGE 

COULTER, WALTER HAASE, HARRY LYONS, WILLIAM 

COYNE, EDWARD HANSON, C. MaCDONALD, JOSEPH 

DALY, CHARLES HARDY, RAYMOND MCCARTHY, EDWARD 

* Twenty-five years or more with The Times. 

421 



ROSTER OF THE NEW YORK TIMES COMPANY 



Press Room — Continued 



MCEVOY, EDWARD 
MCGUIRE, ARTHUR 
MCKEE, JOHN 
MCLAUGHLIN, B. 
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MCQUADE, JOHN 
MACKIN, CHARLES 
MALLON, THOMAS 
MALONEY, FRANK 
MANN, JAMES 
MARR, DAVID 
MAXWELL, JOHN 
MAZZIE, ROBERT 
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MOORE, MATHEW 
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MUFFIN, FRANK 
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MULQUEEN, JOHN 
MURICE, PATRICK 
MURPHY, CHARLES 
MURPHY, WILLIAM 
MURRAY, RICHARD 
MYERS, LOUIS 
NEUMAN, THOMAS 
NIX, JAMES 
NOLTING, GEORGE 



NORRIS, WILLIAM 
o'cONNOR, GEORGE 
o'cONNOR, MICHAEL 
o'dEE, THOMAS 
o'haRA, JOHN 
o'malley, MALARCKI 

O'SULLIVAN, PAUL 
PARDEE, ARTHUR 
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PURCELL, THOMAS 
QUINN, THOMAS 
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REDMOND, CHARLES 
REDMOND, PHILLIP 
REILLY, FRANK 
REYNOLDS, CLARENCE 
ROMMENS, LAWRENCE 
ROWE, JAMES 
SCHNEIDER, JACOB 
SCOTT, JAMES 
SHARKEY, CHARLES 
SHARKEY, JAMES A. 
SHARKEY, JOHN F. 
SHARKEY, JOHN, SR. 



SIEGEL, ALFRED 
SMILEY, FRANK 
SMITH, J. 
SMITH, WILLIAM 
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STEELE, WILLIAM 
STENGER, LOUIS 
STOESSER, LEONARD 
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TOOMEY, JOSEPH 
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WEBSTER, FRANK 
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WILSON, ALBERT 
WOODARD, CLEMENT 
WRIGHT, WILLIAM 



Roto Etching Department 

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John Hutchinson Foreman 

John B. Johnson Foreman 



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DANIELS, THOS. V. 
DEFOUR, JEAN C. 
DIXON, JOS, C. 
ERLER, CHARLES 
GILLICK, JOHN 
HANDWERK, HUGO 



HARPER, ROLAND H. 
HERRINGTON, RAY 
JOHNSON, W. 
LANDO, FRANK 
MAGNUSON, ANDREW 
MILES, FORDHAM C. 
MOONEY, CHRIS E. 
MORGAN, WALTER A. 
MUNZ, HAROLD 
NIEDERLE, MAX 



PATTERSON, DAN J. 
PAYNE, GEORGE 
QUANN, JOHN 
SCHWARTZ, JEAN 
SCHWENGER, FRED 
SHEA, THOMAS 
TIERNEY, CHARLES 
VOELKER, ALBERT C. 



ROSTER OF THE NEW YORK TIMES COMPANY 



Mail Room 

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FOLEY, J. MILLER, REX WOLFSON, MICHAEL 
FRAZEE, JOHN MOONEY, JOHN 
GALLAGHER, MIKE MUIR, WM. F. 

* Twenty-five years or more with The Times. 

423 



ROSTER OF THE NEW YORK TIMES COMPANY 
Transportation Department 

Thomas Tallon, Superintendent 

Barney McTague Foreman of Dockloaders 

James Sherry Foreman of Day Paper Handlers 

Maurice O'Connell Foreman of Night Paper Handlers 



backus, JAMES 
BACKUS, WM. 
BOTTINY, WALTER 
BRADBURY, J. 
BUCKLEY, MICHAEL 
BURNES, ARTHUR 
BYRNE, HARRY 
CARROLL, J. 
CLARK, FRANK 
CONOLLY, FRANK 
DAWSON, ROBT. 



DOIG, HARRY 
FALLON, JAMES 
FISHER, JOHN 
FITZSIMMONS, N. 
GAVIGAN, JOHN 
GRADY, WM. 
GRAHAM, THOS. 
HOPKINS, JOHN 
JOHNSON, FREDERICK 
KEARNS, JAMES 
LANE, JOSEPH 



LENNON, PATRICK 
LENNON, WM, 
MCELWAIN, PATRICK 
MCKENNA, PATRICK 
MORIARITY, PATRICK 
OLSEN, CHRIS. 
SHEEHY, MICHAEL 
SULLIVAN, DENNIS 
WOODS, FRANK 
WOODS, PETER 



Times Building and West 43rd St. Addition 

Geo. L. Eckerson, Agent and Manager 

Fred Brazong Foreman Elevators 

Michael Fallon Chief Stationary Engineer 



archer, JOSEPH 
ARMSTRONG, SAM 
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CARLEY, MINNIE 
CHAPMAN, E. 
CONNELLY, JAMES 
COUGHLIN, ELIZ. 
CRONIN, ANNIE 
CUNNINGHAM, MARY 
DALTON, JAMES 
DEHATE, MAIGON 
DOCKERY, STEPHEN 
DURKIN, MARGARET 
FARROLL, MARY 
GRANT, J. 



HIGGINS, THOMAS 
JENKINS, BERT 
JACOBI, CHARLES 
JOHNSTON, NELLIE 
KENNEDY, BRIDGET 
KILKENNY, PATRICK 
LEARY, CATHERINE 
LEONARD, JOHN 
LORUM, GEO. 
MCCARTHY, JOHN 
MCCORMACK, EDWARD 
MCCUTTE, NELLIE 
MCGUIRE, JOHN 
MCKIERNAN, HUGH 
MCTAGUE, NELLIE 
MANCHESTER, ANNIE 
MENDRLA, MARIE 



MERZ, JOHN 
MILLER, LOUISA 
MINOGUE, EDWARD 
MONAHAN, JAMES 
MCDONNELL, THOS. J. 
o'nEILL, PATRICK 
o'tOOLE, PATRICK 
PATTERSON, ANNIE 
PATTERSON, MARY 
RYAN, FRANK 
SMITH, AGNES 
SNOW, M. 

SULLIVAN, PATRICK 
WALSH, RICHARD 
WARD, THOS. P. 



424 



ROSTER OF THE NEW YORK TIMES COMPANY 
AUDITING DEPARTMENT 

Harry H. Weinstock, Auditor' 

Rudolph Weinacht Mgr. Auditing Staff 

Edwin L. Finch Mgr. Editorial Payroll Dept. 

Louis Fishman Mgr. Accounting Dept. 

Clifford H. Pyle Mgr. Payroll Dept. 

Thomas Roche Mgr. Receiving Dept. 

Frank Schmidt Mgr. Paper and Ink Dept. 



ABEL, MARGARET 
AGMAN, ABRAHAM 
BELMAR, MAURICE 
BERLINGHOFF, WILLIAM 
BROWN, WILLIAM B. 
COHN, MYRON 
CONNOLLY, HUGH 
CULLEN, JOHN C. 
DAWSON, ALLAN 
DUNLOP, JOSEPH 
ENGLANDER, BENJAMIN 
FRANK, MIRIAM 
GLASSBERG, PHILLIP 
GOLDSTONE, EVELYN 
JOHNSON, OSCAR 
KABAKOW, MINNIE 
KAISER, GEORGE 



KATZ, JOHN 
LAKE, SAMUEL 
LAWLER, EDWARD 
LEHRHAUPT, MORRIS 
LEWIS, ALFRED 
LEWIS, ELSIE 
MATTISON, EDWARD 
MENZER, NETTIE 
MILLER, HARRY 
MOORE, WALTER 
NETZER, ANNA 
OEHLER, RICHARD 
PEMBLETON, FRED 
ROTH, JOSEPH 
SCHENK, EDWARD 
SCHLEICHER, ANNABELLE 
SKINNER, ARTHUR 



SMITH, HELEN 
SOLOMONS, HARRY 
STANGER, MARGARET 
STERLING, CAMILLA 
STRAIN, SAMUEL 
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TEAGUE, CRESTWELL 
TERRIBERRY, NATHAN 
THOMPSON, WILLIAM 
VOGEL, HERMAN 
WAGNER, STANLEY 
WASSERMAN, DAVID 
WASSERMAN, HARRIET 
WEINBERGER, DOROTHY 
WHEELER, FREDERICK 
WHITTAKER, JOSEPH 
WORMSER, LEON 



GENERAL DEPARTMENTS 

LuciEN Franck Purchasing Agent 

Carl Hotopp Assistant Purchasing Agent 

Edward A. Hegi Cashier 

Mildred C. Smith Assistant Cashier 

William M. Jackson Manager Personnel Department 

Walter A. Madigan Manager Restaurant 



ALVAREZ, JOHN 

brondolo, tony 
brown, william 
colgan, william d. 
de pass, adrian 

FAHERTY, MARY A. 
FLASCH, SYLVIA 
FONTANA, LOUIS 
FOYE, HARRY, JR. 
FOYE, HENRY P. 
GEHRIG, GEORGE 



GERSHENSON, L. 
HEGEDUS, HENRICH 
JACOBUS, PHEBE 
JUPITER, EDWARD 
KEARNEY, CATHERINE 
LEMMER, ANNA 
LORENZEN, ELIZABETH A. 
MCDERMOTT, JOHN 
MCNEELEY, MARY 
O'SHEA, WILLIAM J. 
SCHNURRER, CHRIS. 



SCHUTTINGER, KATHERINE 
SHEEHAN, KITTY 
SMITH, B. 

TORCHIO, LAWRENCE 
TORINO, JOSEPH 
TUCKER, KENNETH 
WAKELEY, DELBERT 
WALTERS, HILLIS 
WEAVER, MRS. JOSEPHINE 
WINSTON, ANDREW 
ZIMMERMAN, ALBERT 



425 



ROSTER OF THE NEW YORK TIMES COMPANY 

CURRENT HISTORY, MIDWEEK PICTORIAL AND 
WAR VOLUMES 

George W. Ochs Oakes Editor and Manager 

Editorial Staff 

BLYTHE, WALTER E. PRESTON, THOS. B. WALSH, MATTHEW J. 

DUFFIELD, J. W. SHUMAN, EDWIN L. WATERBURY, IVAN C. ' 

KURTH, OTTO SNOW, DR. F. H. WHITE, CAPT. MICHAEL A. E. 

Business Office 

Kresge, Hqmer D Manager 

Burgess, Frank T Sales Manager 

Hechelheim, Louis Bookkeeper 

ADAMS, ARTHUR R. EDMUNDS, L. M. LYNCH, G. M. 

ALBERT, MIRIAM ERGER, LOUISE MCELDARRY, MAY 

ALLAN, MURIEL ESPOSITA, MARGARET MELLINGER, EDW. D. 

ANDERSON, HILDA EZECHEL, KATHERINE MORRIS, KATHERINE 

BARRETT, ADELE V. FECHNER, LEON NEUMANN, J. A. 

BERGLING, ANNA FERNEEKES, ELSA M. o'bRIEN, MARION 

BLOOMER, W. FINGER, SHIRLEY o'sULLIVAN, MARGARET 

BOLSTAD, EDW. FINKHOUSER, FRED A. QUINN, S. T. 

BOTNER, PAULINE FINKHOUSER, JAS. A. RODENBERG, G. 

BROWN, WM. M. GREEN, CHAS. J. ROSE, LILY 

BURKETT, R. M. HALL, GERTRUDE SALCEDO, WM. 

BURNS, EDW. M. JACKSON, MORRIS SUSSMAN, MOE 

CONVISER, ELLA LAMB, VINCENT D. TALIMER, BERNARD 

CORRELL, JOHN I. LASHER, MORRIS VRADENBURG, ARTHUR 

CRAIG, LILLIAN LAUBER, SAMUEL WARNOCK, M. C. 

DICKINSON, CARRIE LEVY, ROBT. SAM'l WEISS, SAMUEL 

DONAHUE, ELIZABETH LOCKLEY, ROSE 



Louis O. Morney 
alden, john 
ames, richard 



ANNALIST 

Edward G. Rich, Editor 

cullum, welcome h. 
harms, august a. 



Manager Business Office 

POLLOCK, JOHN 



WIDE WORLD PHOTO DEPARTMENT 

Charles M. Graves, Manager 
Jules Dumas Sales Manager 



CANFIELD, JOHN 
DEVLIN, JAMES 
GLUCKMAN, RAE 
GOTTLEIB, GERALD 
LEVY, ARTHUR 



LUBBEN, PAUL 
METZGER, JOHN F. 
NESENSOHN, C. D. 
NESENSOHN, JOHN A. 
NEWTON, WILLIAM 



O MEARA, JAMES 
PEYROULET, JOHN 
ROSE, RICHARD 
STERN, NATHAN 
TAYLOR, M. M. 



426 



ROSTER OF THE NEW YORK TIMES COMPANY 



TIDEWATER PAPER MILLS COMPANY 

Brooklyn, N. Y. 

Adolph S. Ochs President 

Arthur Hays Sulzberger Vice-President and Treasurer 

Ben. C. Franck Secretary 

Arthur F. Allen General Manager 

John B. West Superintendent 

Robert O. Sternberger Plant Engineer 

Irwin H. Copeland Pulp Expert 

A. F. McCoy Chemist 

F. P. Ashworth Purchasing Agent 

W. S. Chamberlain Cashier 

A. E. Davies Master Mechanic 

A. Mercier Chief Millwright 

John J. Lee Chief Electrician 

Wm. Brown Chief Stearn Engineer 

Van a. Seeber Boss Machine Tender 

Wm. Cole Boss Machine Tender 

P. J. Kilawee Boss Machine Tender 

H. Baker Beater Engineer 

F. E. Vining Beater Engineer 

D. J. Murphy Beater Engineer 

L. J. Walz Foreman Shipping Room 

Geo. a. Leavitt Yard Superintendent 

barney ALFONZA jean DeCARLE THOS. ILLINGWORTH 

J. BAJGERT EDW. DeLUCCA JOHN JACKAS 

THOS. BATES JOS. C. DENNINGER J. JANEWITCH 

M. BEKAN JOHN DEVENEY CHARLES JOHNSON 

FRED BLAKE GEORGE DOLL JOHN JONES 

CARL BOND JOHN DONOVAN STEVE KARANECKY 

HUGH BOYLE RICHARD DONOVAN GUS KEMPF 

EDW. BRATT JULIUS DWIGHT STENLI KEIRMARSKI 

CHRIS BREGENZER M. DZYOVNES JOHN KENNY 

E. 8. BRINKLEY THOS. J. EVERS FRANK KINGSTON 
ARTHUR BROWN FRANK FABER T. KINGSTON 
ARTHUR F. BROWN THOS. FEWER WALTER KONAPACKI 
THOS. BROWN M. FOGARTY STANLEY KURARSKY 
J. CAPEN PETER FRAGENT MOSES LANCTO 
ALEX CLARK VINCENZO FRAGNITO PETER LANGMAN 
THOS. COCHRAN WALTER FREDERICKSON M. LINDEMANN 
JOHN CORLISS JAMES GAIGOL LEON MCDOUGAL 
ROBERT CORNWALL JAS. GALLANAUGH FRANK MCGEENEY 
T. COSTENO ROCCO GERVASE DANIEL MCLOON 
JOHN COUGHLIN THOMAS GIBBONS A. MAELES 

GUS CARLSON JAMES GRANT S. MAESTR 

PATRICK DALEY J. GRAVES E. M. MASKELL 

THOS. DALEY IGNATZ GREGOR GEORGE MAYHEW 
JAS. W. DAVIS ROBERT HAMMINGTON FAHECK MEHMED 

J. E. DAVIS HENRY J. HITT CHAS. MERKELS 



ROSTER OF THE NEW YORK TIMES COMPANY 
Tidewater Paper Mills Company — Continued 



L. C. MERRITT 

JOHN MILLER 
HENRY MULLEN 
M. NADLER 
CHRIS NAGEL 
GEORGE NEWBY 
EDW. NORDENBERG 
PETER OSMANSKI 
JAMES PETERSON 
T. PETTONE 
JOS. PITTULE 
STEVE POLICKEL 
CHARLES PROSSER 
F. RHOOP 
JNO. RIORDAN 



BENJ. ROSS 
A. J RUDOLPH 
ALFRED RUEL 
ALBERT SAGATAS 
AUGUST SANDSTROM 
AUGUST SCEMEL 
JOHN SCHICK 
CARL SCROXTON 
E. F. SEEMS 
GEORGE SEILER 
FRANK SHIMSAW 
P. J. SIMON 
GEORGE SLATER 
ORVILLE SLATER 
T. STANKOWITZ 



HARRY STRINGER 

NICK TROICKY 

GEORGE TURNER 

T. VELCH 

J. WALSH 

D. WARD 

L. W. WHETSTONE 

0. WHITMAN 

A. T. WILLIAMS 

JOHN WILLE 

T. WILLISITISKI 

1. WYEROSKI 
JOHN WYZLINSKI 



428 



INDEX 



*' Abbey, Arthur M.," 349 
Adams, Henry, 76; "Education 

of Henry Adams," 'jG 
Advertiser^ The, 390 
Advertising, 26, 192, 193, 219 et 

seq.y 23S, 317, 319 et seq., 370, 

392, 402 
Albany Evening Journal, 3, 4, 3 1 
"All the News That's Fit to 

Print," 197, 198, 199, 212 
Alloway, Harry, 180 
Annalist, The, 328 
Antipathy to Times, 260 et seq. 
Anti-Saloon League, 255 
Appomattox Courthouse, battle of, 

SI . 

Arctic, disaster, 35, 36 
Arthur, Chester A., 152 
Associated Press, 43, 179, 230, 241, 

367, 385 
Astor, John Jacob, 97 
Atherton, Gertrude, 378 
Aviation, development of, 287 et 

seq.; prizes, 288, 289 

Baltimore American, The, 351, 
Barnum, P. T., 10 
Beck, James M., 338, 339 
Beecher, Henry Ward, 61, 124 
Behl, Private Harold J., 369 
Bennett, James Gordon, 7, 8, 9, 10, 

21, 63, 77, 79 
BernstorfF, German ambassador to 

U.S., 361 
Bigelow, John, 134, 140; 1869, 81, 

83; 82 
Birchall, F. T., 364 
Blaine, James G., 128, 131, 150, 

151 

Blanket sheets, 6 

Board of Supervisors, New York, 

1869, 90 
Bolsheviki, Russian, 355 
Book reviews, 38, 213 et seq. 
Borah, Senator, 382 
Bradley, Lieut. William, 369 



Brest-Litovsk, 355 

Briand, Premier, 386 

Brisbane, Albert, il 

Brisbane, Arthur, ii 

British "White Paper," 337, 338 

Brook Farm, 10 

Bryan, William Jennings, 74, 226, 

248, 249, 252 
Bryant, William CuUen, 82 
Buchanan, James, 37 
Bull Run, battle of, 55 
Burgess, John W., 339 
Burns, George H., 36 
Burnside, General, 57 
Business policy of Times, 3 10 et seq. 

Cabell, southern orator, 31 
Cable, ocean, 37, 43, 119, 162, 

163, 164, 231, 283 
Campaign Times, 24 
Capital of Times, xv, 17, 27, 169, 

170, 185, 191, 193 
Caricatures, 64 
Carson, Major J. M., 377 
Cartoons, 130, 196 
Cary, Edward, xiv, 73, 78, 137, 

169,182, 376 _ 
Censorship, American, 368 
Century, The, 211 
Chamberlain, Senator, 354 
Chandler, Zachariah, 135 
Charities fostered by Times, 304 

et seq. 
Chattanooga Times, The, Adolph S. 

Ochs, publisher of, in 1896, 

178 
Chesterton, G. K., 339 
Chicago Daily News, 390 
Chicago Evening Post, The, 288 
Chicago Record- Herald, The, 290 
Chicago Tribufie, The, 275, 284, 

.382, 390 
Christmas contributions, 304 
Circulation of Times, xviii, 26, 27, 

64, 118, 169, 203, 211, 245, 

246, 307> 3I0» 315, 389, 402 



429 



INDEX 



Civil War, 14, 16, 46, 48 et seq.y 84, 

263 
Clark, Champ, 250, 251 
Clemenceau, Georges, 367 
Cleveland, Grover, 154, 155 et seq.y 

171, 189 
Collier's Weekly y 308 
Columbia School of Journalism, 

365- . 
Commercial Cable Company, 285 
Confederacy, southern, sympathy 

of New York papers with, 

Conkling, 144 

Connolly, Richard B., 90, 95, 97, 

98, 102, 103, 106, 126 
Conservatism of TimeSy 266 et 

seq. 
Cook, Dr. Frederick, 291 et seq. 
Cooper, Peter, 96, 100 
"Copperheads," 68, 71, 72 
Courier and Enquirer y 4, 11, 13 
Court calendars, reports of, 210 
Cox, James M., 259, 374, 381 
Croker, 86 

Crounse, Lorenzo, 58 
Cuban question, 225 
Current History Alagaziney 328 
Curtiss airplane, 288 
Czernin, Count, 367 

Dana, Charles A., 6, yjy 94, 95, 
161, 203, 199 

Davidson, E. Mora, 184 

Davis, Jefferson, 66, 71 

Davis, John W., 259 

Davis, Oscar King, 361 

De Forest wireless, 283 

Democratic Party, 9, 32; and Gold 
standard, 74, 160; National 
Convention in San Francisco, 
1920, 382; policies of, 253, et 
seq.; and Sun and Herald, 9 

Dernburg, Dr. Bernhard, 339 

Dithmar, E. A., 376 

Douglas, Stephen A, 50 

Dunnell, E. G,, 377 

Dyer, Henry L., 168 

Editorials, 2l8; during World 
War, 335; editorial attacks, 
22, 23 

Eidlitz, C. L.^W., 32s 



Eliot, Charles W., 339 

Ely, Alfred, 182, 184^ 

England, relations with, 160 

Erie Railroad conspiracy, 82, 98 

Espionage Act, 368 

European news, 24, 25, 38, 275, 

279 et seq. 
Evening Maily New York, 235 
Everett, Edward, 61 
Expenses of Times, 26, 63, yj, 240, 

389 

Federal Reserve Act, 252, 258 

Field, Cyrus W., 100 

Fillmore, Millard, 29 

Financial News in TimeSy 217, 

Fire report in TimeSy 25 

Fisk, James, Jr., 75, 82, 100, 

126 
Flint, Charles R., 181 
Foch, Marshal, 366 
Foord, John, 98, 106, 130 et seq., 

150 
Forbes, John }A., 149 
Foster, John W., 162 
Fourieristic Socialism, 10, 79 
Fowler, Robert Ludlow, 339 
Fox, Mortimer J., 327 
Franco-Prussian War, 37, 123 
Free Silver, 74, 178 
Free-Soil Democrats, 15 
Free-Soil Whigs, 14 
Freedman's Bureau Bill, 6G 

Garfield, James A., 144 et seq. 

Garrett, Garet, 361 

Garrison, William Lloyd, 48 

Gatling gun, 60 

German propaganda, 187, 189, 

262, 340 et seq. 
German "White Paper," 337, 338 
Gibbs, Philip, 293, 361 
Gilder, Richard Watson, 211 
Globe y New Yorky 224 
Gold Democratic ticket, 74 
Golden jubilee of Times, 1901, 

243 
Gould, Jay, 75, 82, 100, 148 
Grant, U. S., General, 39, 56, 65, 

82, 125, 149 
Grasty, Charles H., 362, 378 
Greaves, Arthur, xv, 274, 376 



430 



% 



INDEX 



Greeley, Horace, 3, 4, 8, 9, lo, ii, 
13, 21, 22, 32, 59, 69, 70, 80, 
83, 85, 121, 197 

Green, Andrew H., 112, 126 

Hall, A. Oakey, 89, 93, 95, 100, 

102, 109, 115 
Halsey, Francis W., 213 
Hamilton, Claude, 288 
Hanna, Mark, 160 
Harding, Warren G., 373, 381, 

384 
Harper, Fletcher, Jr., 27 
Harper s Weekly, 93, 95 
Hart, Charles F., 364 
Hartley, Marcellus, 184 
Havemeyer, William F., 112 
Hayes, Rutherford B., 131 et seq. 
Headlines, display, 39, 106 
Hearst, William Randolph, 294 
Herald, New York, 7, 8, 9, 12, 19, 

22, 26, 33, 34, 35, 36, 50, 64, 

76, 117, 197, 200, 236, 241, 

292, 323, 390, 400 
Hewitt, Abram S,, 136 
Hill, David B., 158 
Hill, Frederic Trevor, 299 
Hoffman, John T., 89, 95 
Honor Roll of Times, 369 
Hosmer, F. L., 377 
*'Hubbell, G. M.," 349 
Hughes, Charles E,, 384 
Hurlburt, William Henry, 45 

Income of Times, 118, 156 
Index, New York Times, 328 
Irish question, 12, 262 
Italy, War in 1859, 41, 44 

Jackson, Andrew, 257 

James, Edwin L., 362 

James, Lionel, Capt., 283 

Janvier, Thomas A., 298 

Japan, in World War, 359 

"Jasper," 54 _ 

Jennings, Louis J., 84 et seq., 105 et 

seq., 128, 130 
Jerome, Leonard W., 27, 59, 81 
Joffre, General, 28, 368 
John Brown's Raid, 49 
Johnson, Andrew, 15, 68, 73 
Johnston, Albert Sidney, 41 
Johnston, W. E., 42 



Jones, George, 3, 4, 5, 12, 13, 17, 

18, 19, 26, 27, 65, 77, 80, 81, 

83, 92, 100, 102, 116, 126, 129, 

149, 164; death, 166 
Jones, Gilbert, 168 
Journal, New York, 196, 200, 222, 

224, 231, 232, 237, 238, 239, 

390 
Journalism, history of, 79 
Jubilee Supplement of Times, vii 

Kansas-Nebraska Act, 32 
Kilmer, Sergeant Joyce, 369 
Knapp, C. W., 376 
Kohisaat, Herman H., 180 
Kossuth, Louis, 28, 29, 40 

La Prensa, 327 

League of Nations, 261, 371, 378 

Le Hir, George, 362 

Lee, Robert E., 39, 56, 58, 59, 70 

Letters from Readers, 217, 235 

Liberty Loan Committee, 303 

Lincoln, Abraham, 16, 49, 62, 65, 

66, 299 
Lloyd George, David, 300 
Loewenthal, Henry, xv, 274 
London Daily Chronicle, ij^, 293 ^ 

359 
London Daily Mail, 360 
London Daily Telegraph, 290 
London Times, 42, 84, 244, 275 et 

seq. 
Ludendorff, 366 
Lusitania, 344, 352, 353, 364 
Lynch, Rev. Dr. Frederick, 337 

Mackenzie, Andrew C, 325 
"Malakoff" (Dr. W. E. Johnston), 

42, 44 
Manhattan Elevated Railway 

Company, 148 
Manning, Major William Sinkler, 

369 
Marconi, 277, 278 
Market reports, 209 
Marshall, Ernest, 378 
Matin (Paris), 275 
Maverick, Augustus, vii, 6, 14, 

20, 23, 36, 47 
McAdoo, William G., 259 
McAneny, George, 375 
McCall, John A., 160 



431 



INDEX 



McClure, S. S., 209 
McDowell, General, 55 
McKinley, William, 226, 243 
Meade, General, 56 
Mercury, New York, 178 
Miller, Charles R., xiii, 137, 150, 

161, 169, 181, 182, 194, 254, 

342, 347, 350, 351 
Miller, Warner, 158 
Morgan, Christopher, 1 1 
Morgan, E. B., 17, 18, 104, 128 
Morgan, J. P. & Co., 189 
Mormons, 41 

Morning Telegraph, The, 178 
Moyer, G. B., 378 
"Mugwump" campaign, 155 

Nation, The, 78 ^ 

Neanderthal Socialism, II 

New Harmony, 10 

New York City, historical articles 
on, 298; government of, 7$; 
politics, 86 et seq., 89, no 

New York Life Insurance Com- 
pany, 164 

New York Printing Company, 92 

New York Times Publishing Com- 
pany, 169, 184, 185, 348 

News-gathering, 274 et seq. 

Nivelle, General, 368 

Norris, John, xiv, 377 

North American Review, 77 

North German Lloyd Steamship 
Company, 227, 228 

NorthclifFe, Lord, 275, 349 

Norwell, Caleb C, 83 

O'Brien, James, 102, 103 

Ochs, Adolph S., 6, 172, 178 et seq., 

203 et seq, 254, 347, 389 
Ogden, RoUo, 376 
Oneida Community, 10 
O'Rourke, Matthew J., 182 
Oulahan, Richard V., 378 

Paine, J. H., 377 

Palmer, A. Mitchell, 259 

Paper, cost, 26, 375 

Paris Exposition edition of Times 

1900, 240 
"Park Trench" scheme of Liberty 

Loan Committee, 303 



Parker, Alton B,, 249 
Parkin, Dr. George R., 278 
Payne, George Henry, 79 
Peace Conference, 378 
Peary, Admiral, 291 et seq. 
Personal journalism, 162 
Retain, General, 368 
Petit Parisien, 209 
Peverelly, T. L., 376 
Philadelphia Record, 236 
Phillips, abolitionist, i860, 49 
Phillips, Barnet, 377 
Pictorial Supplement of Times, 

212, 329 
Pierce, Private Edward B., 369 
Plumb, J. B., 17 
Political news, 296 et seq. 
Post, George B., 165 
Press, New York, 223 
Price of Times, 27, 169, 233, 239 
Prohibition, 269 
Pulitzer, Joseph, 161, 195 

Radicalism in America, 264 et seq. 
Railroad, use of in journalism, 8 
Raymond, Henry J., vii, 3 et seq., 
II et seq., 14, 26 et seq., 39, 48 
et seq., 55, 56, 65 et seq., 71, 
74. 77. 78, 358 
Recorder, New York, 182 
Reick, William C, xv, 274 
Reid, John C, 123, 132, 137, 139, 

151. 156 
Republic (White Star Liner), 284 
Republican Party, 15, 16, 32, 253 

et seq. 
Restoration of Times, 1896- 1900, 

175 et seq. 
Richardson, Albert D., 84 
Roosevelt, Theodore, 149, 249, 

258, 296, 300, 340 
Root, Frank D., 147 
Ruggles, Francis B., 17 
Russo-Japanese War, 276, 283 

St. John, Daniel B., 17 

Saturday Book Review, 213 et seq. 
Schiff, Jacob H., 339 
Schuyler, Montgomery, 377 
Scott, Winfield, 19, 29, 30 
Selden, Charles A., 362, 378 
Semi-weekly Times, 24 



432 



INDEX 



Senate, U. S,, inquisition of Times 

in 1915, 345, 351 
"Sensational" journalism, 234 
Seward, William H., 16, 49 
Shepard, George, 84 
Ship Purchase Bill, 345, 346 
Simonton, James W., 41 
Sinn Fein, 187, 341 
Size of page of Times, 371; of issue, 

27, 370 
Slavery, 7, 14, 31, 48 et seq. 
Sloane, William Milligan, 339 
Socialism, 268 

Spanish War, 226 et s^q.; 238 
Speeches reported in full, 300 
Spinney, George F., 169 
Sporting News of Times, 301, 

371 
Springfield Republican, 151 
Star, The, 113 

Star Route frauds, 1881, 146 
Steamship, use of in journalism, 

8,37 
Stevens, Thaddeus, 65 
Strauss, Samuel, 376 
Sumter, Fort, attack on, 51, 62 
Sun, New York, 6, 7, 9, 19, 94, 203, 

204, 223, 224, 390 
Sunday Magazine of Times, 212 
Sunday Times, The, first issue, 63 
Sweeney, Peter B., 90, 100 
Swinton, William, ^8 
Sjmdicalism, 268 

Taft, William Howard, 250, 297 
Tammany Hall, 8, 12, 18, 59, 76, 
86, 88, 97, '115, 222, 235, 
.236 
Tariff, 74, 146, 249 
Taylor, G. B., 377 
Taylor, James B., 81, 92, 128 
Telegraph, use of in journalism, 8, 
33, 37, 43,. 53, 289, 297,383 
Temps, Le (Paris), 209 
Thompson, J. H., 377 
Tilden, Samuel J., 74, 112, 114, 

^., 125,130,133^^^^?- 

Tilton, Theodore, 124 

Times Buildings, first, 47, 322; 

second, 165, 322; present, 

191, 322 et seq. 
Times jor California, 24 
Times Illustrated Magazine, 213 



Times-Recorder Company, 182 

Times, The New York, character 
of, ix et seq., 6, 24, 176, 188, 
243 et seq., 370 et seq.; estab- 
lishment of, 5; first issue, 20, 
225; policies, ix, 48, 53, 154, 
219 et seq., 243 et seq., 310 et 
seq., 370 et seq., etc.; staff, 48, 
60, 370 et seq., etc. 

Titanic disaster, 295 

Tracy, Benjamin F., 74 

Trask, Spencer, 181, 184 

Tribune, New York, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 
II, 12, 19, 20, 23, 26, 33, 59, 
76, 83, 84, 94, 123, 133, 135, 
196, 236, 241, 341 

Truman, Ben C, Major, 57 

Trusts, 267 

Tweed, W. M., 40, 75, 81 ^^ seq., 
89, no 

Typographical Union, 274 

Underwood-Simmons Tariff Act, 

.252 
United Press organization, 179; 

end of, 240 
United States as world power, 248 

Van Anda, Carr V., xiii, 274, 364 
Venezuelan question, 159 
Verdun, battle of, 362 
Versailles, Treaty of, 372 
Viaduct Railroad scheme, 100 
Victoria, Queen, 37; jubilee of, 

213 
Von Briesen, Arthur, 339 

Wade, Ben, 65 

Wall Street, 75, 83, 164 

Wallach, Leopold, 178, 377 

Walsh, T. J., Senator, 347 

War Department, in Civil War, 

Weather, 25 

Webb, James W^atson, 4, 5, 9, 28, 

29, 30 
Webster, Daniel, 29 
Weed, Thurlow, 4, 16, 17 
Weekly Family Times, 23, 24 
Wellman, Walter, 290 
Wells, David A., 74 
Wesley, E. B., 5, 12, 17, 26, 27 
Westbrook, Theodoric R., 148 



433 



INDEX 



Whig, 9, I4» 29, 32 „ . . , 
"White Paper," British, 373; 

German, 337» 338 
Wile, Frederic WiUiam, 337 
Wiley, Louis, xiv 
Wilkie, Enid, 363 
Williams, George F., 57 
Williams, Wythe, 362 
Wilson, Woodrow, 250, 251, 252, 

350, 352 et seq.y 372 
Wireless, use of in journalism, 

277 et seq. 



Wood, Fernando, 88 
Woodward, James T., 184 
World, New York, 183, 195, 196, 
200, 222, 231, 232, 237, 238, 
239, 25S> 287, 341, 3Si» 390 
World War, 187, 246, 253, 300, 
331 etseq. 

Yancey, William L., 50 
"Yellow" journaUsm, 7, 19S, 234, 

^47„ . , 
Young, Brigham, 41 



434 





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PRINTED IN U.S.A. 



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Davis, Elmer Holmes 

History of the New York times, 1851-1921